Thought for the Day – 11 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“By means of the Incarnation, God comes to man so that man may return to God.
God created man by an act of love to display and to diffuse, His infinite goodness.
But this relationship of love was disrupted by sin.
Love became fear, on the part of man and it became justice, on the part of God.
The love of God is infinite, however and cannot decrease.
No sooner had man fallen, than God promised our first parents, that He Himself, would come to save them.
As soon as man had lost the white robe of grace, the Lord mercifully promised that He would come to restore it.
He could have sent an angel to lead erring man back to the fold and to teach him the way of virtue, which leads to Heaven.
That would have been a great act of love and mercy.
But, an angel is a finite being, whereas, the love of God has no limit.
For this reason, He was not satisfied to send an angel.
We can see, furthermore, another explanation of the great mystery of the Incarnation.
God infinitely loved man, who was the work of His omnipotence.
Precisely because He loved him, He wished to be loved by him in return.
But because the spirit of man is united to matter, he does not see God, except through the works of His creation.
He sees Him, as it were, “through a mirror in an obscure manner,” (1 Cor 13:12) and not face-to-face.
He does not love God, therefore, as he would if he could see Him in all His beauty.
He would need to see Him and to know Him better, before he could love Him more.
So God made Himself small by becoming man.
“Human wisdom often asks,” writes Bossuet, “why God came on earth.”
To this I reply: “He came to be lobed by men.”
“God was great,” writs St Bernard, “so great as to demand to be adored. Now He has become small, so that He may be better loved.”
God became, like us, a child.
“The goodness and kindness of God, our Saviour appeared,” (Titus 2:4) says St Paul.
But Jesus was not satisfied merely to become like us, to enlighten us with His doctrine and to enrich us with the abundance of His graces and gifts.
He also gave Himself to us by dying on the Cross and remaining with us in the Blessed Sacrament.
How could we fail to return such love!?”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci