Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Five – 20 December
The Life Of Sorrow Which Jesus Led From His Birth.
Jesus Christ could have saved mankind without suffering and dying.
Yet, in order to prove to us how much He loved us, He chose for Himself a life full of tribulations.
Therefore the prophet Isaias called Him “a man of sorrows,” His whole life was filled with suffering.
His Passion began, not merely a few hours before His death but from the the first moment of His birth.
He was born in a stable where everything served to torment Him.
His sense of sight was hurt by seeing nothing but the rough, black walls of the cave;
His sense of smell was hurt by the stench of the dung from the beasts in the stable;
His sense of touch was hurt by the prickling straw on which He lay.
Shortly after His birth He was forced to flee into Egypt, where He spent several years of His childhood in poverty and misery. His boyhood and early manhood in Nazareth were passed in hard work and obscurity.
And finally, in Jerusalem, He died on a cross, exhausted with pain and anguish.
Thus, then, was the life of Jesus but one unbroken series of sufferings, which were doubly painful because He had ever before His eyes all the sufferings He would have to endure till His death.
Yet, since our Lord had voluntarily chosen to bear these tribulations for our sake, they did not afflict Him as much as did the sight of our sins, by which we have so ungratefully repaid Him for His love towards us.
When the confessor of Saint Margaret of Cortona saw that she never seemed satisfied with all the tears she had already shed for her past sins, he said to her, “Margaret, stop crying and cease your lamenting, for God has surely forgiven you your offenses against Him.”
But she replied, “Father, how can I cease to weep, since I know that my sins kept my Lord Jesus in pain and suffering during all His life?”
O Jesus, my sweet Love!
I too have kept You suffering through all Your life.
Tell me, then, what I must do in order to win Your forgiveness.
I am ready to do all You ask of me.
I am sorry, O sovereign Good, for all the offenses I have committed against You.
I love You more than myself, or a least I feel a great desire to love You.
Since it is You who have given me this desire, grant me too the strength to love You exceedingly.
It is only right that I, who have offended You so much, should love You very much.
Always remind me of the love You have borne me, in order that my soul may ever burn with love of You
and long to please You alone.
O God of love, I, who was once a slave of hell, now give myself all to You.
Graciously accept me and bind me to Yourself with the bonds of Your love.
My Jesus, from this day and forever in loving You will I live and in loving You will I die.
O Mary, my Mother and my hope, help me to love your dear God and mine.
This is the only favour I ask of you and through you I hope to receive it. Amen