Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)
THE SIXTH DAY
The Mercy of God in coming from Heaven,
to save us, by His Death.
Saint Paul says, the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared (Titus 3:4). It was then, when the Son of God made Man appeared on earth that we saw how great the goodness of God is toward us. Saint Bernard wrote that the power of God ﬁrst appeared, through the creation of the world and sustaining the world, has shown God’s wisdom. But God’s mercy appeared, to an even greater degree, when God took human ﬂesh to save lost humanity, by His sufferings and Death. And what greater mercy could the Son of God have shown us, than to take upon Himself, the pains we have deserved?
Imagine Him as a newborn Infant, wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger, unable to move or feed Himself. Just to survive, He relied on Mary to feed Him with a little milk. Imagine Him many years later, in the judgement hall before Pilate, bound to a column by ropes, from which He could not loosen Himself and scourged from head to foot. Imagine Him on the journey to Calvary, falling down as He went along the road, from weakness and from the weight of the Cross which He carried. Finally, imagine Him nailed to that infamous tree upon which He ﬁnished His life, in agony and suffering.
Jesus Christ wished to gain all the endearments of our hearts, by His love for us and,, therefore, He would not send an Angel to redeem us but came Himself, to save us by His Passion and Resurrection. If an Angel had been our redeemer, we would have a divided heart—loving God as our Creator and the Angel as our redeemer. But because God, Who is our Creator, wants our whole heart, He chose to also be our Redeemer.
Affections and Prayers:
O my dear Redeemer!
Where should I be now,
if Thou hadst not borne with me so patiently
but hadst called me from life,
while I was in the state of sin?
Since Thou hast waited for me till now,
forgive me quickly, O my Jesus,
before death finds me still guilty
of so many offences
which I have committed against Thee.
I am so sorry for having vilely despised Thee,
my Sovereign Good that I could die of grief.
But Thou canst not abandon a soul that seeks Thee.
If hitherto I have forsaken Thee,
I now seek Thee and love Thee.
Yes, my God, I love Thee
above all else;
I love Thee more than myself.
Help me, Lord, to love Thee always
during the rest of my life.
Nothing else do I seek of Thee.
But this I beg of Thee,
this I hope to receive from Thee.
Mary, my hope, do thou pray for me.
If thou prayest for me,
I am sure of grace.