Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)
THE FOURTH DAY
The Life of humility which Jesus lived, even from His Infancy.
All the clues that the Angels gave the shepherds to help them ﬁnd the Saviour, Who had just been born, were marks of humility –
“This will be a sign for you: you will ﬁnd a Child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).
This is how you will ﬁnd the newborn Messiah, the Angel said. You will ﬁnd Him as an Infant, wrapped in poor ragged clothes, in a stable, lying on straw in a manger for animals. That is how the King of Heaven, the Son of God, was born because ,He came to destroy the pride which had been the cause, of humanity’s spiritual ruin.
The prophets foretold that our Redeemer would be treated as the most wretched person on earth and that He would be overwhelmed with insults.
How much ridicule Jesus had to tolerate because of us!
He was treated as a drunkard, as a magician, as a blasphemer and a heretic. Think of how many insults He had to endure during His passion. He was abandoned by His own disciples.
One of them even sold Him for thirty pieces of silver,and another, denied having ever known Him.
He was led through the streets bound like a criminal, scourged like a slave, treated like a madman and mocked as a bogus king.
He was struck, spat upon in the face and ﬁnally, He was put to death on a Cross, suspended between two thieves.
One would think that he had been the greatest lawbreaker the world had ever seen.
Saint Bernard commented that the noblest of all men, Jesus Christ, was treated like the most depraved person of all. “But, my Jesus,” he adds, “the more degraded Thou art, the more dear Thou art to me.”
The more humbled and despised He appears, the more esteemed and worthy of our love He becomes.
Affections and Prayers:
O Dearest Saviour,
Thou hast embraced so many outrages for love of me,
yet, I have not been able to bear
one word of insult without at once,
being filled with resentful thought –
I who have so often deserved
to be trodden under foot by the demons in hell!
I am ashamed to appear before Thee,
sinful and proud as I am.
Yet, do not drive me from Thy presence, O Lord,
even though that is what I deserve.
Thou hast said that Thou wilt not spurn
a contrite and humbled heart.
I am sorry for the offences
I have committed against Thee.
Forgive me, O Jesus. I will not offend Thee again.
For love of me Thou hast borne so many injuries;
for love of Thee, I will bear all the injuries
that art done to me.
I love Thee, Jesus, Who wast despised for love of me.
I love Thee above every other good.
Give me the grace to love Thee always
and to bear every insult, for love of Thee.
O Mary, recommend me to Thy Son,
pray to Jesus for me.