Our Directory of Spirituality says that “anyone who wants to lead a perfect life need do nothing but despise what Christ despised (on the Cross) and love what Christ loved (on it).
Just as on the cross He taught us what we should love, so as a child in Bethlehem He gave us an example of what we should cultivate in our hearts by seeing what He cultivated in His.
We must never fail to consider all the inexhaustible treasure of virtues of the hypostatic Heart of Jesus. To contemplate that most rich veneration, and not to want to depart from it, must be the mark of honour, the distinctive sign, of our Institute.
In the Manger, as in his first lecture, the Incarnate Word gave us a lesson written on his Child’s Heart:
-Lesson of love for the Eternal Father:
At that moment, his soul contemplated the infinite majesty of the Father and experienced “the incomprehensible immensity of his abundance,” and at the same time, he contemplated the immense injustice done to God – in a certain way, infinite – by the sins of all men, of all time and the insufficiency of the victims offered up to that moment, and he experienced that the Father had made him a priest and a victim – for which he had to take on matter – and the impulse of his indescribable love made an act of His sovereign priesthood, by giving himself entirely to His Father’s will.
-Love for his parents:
…For his Mother: in imitation of Christ we are called to practice with the greatest possible intensity the so-called filial Marian piety, which consists fundamentally in imitating the filial piety of Jesus Christ, treating Mary as he treated her, in participating in his filial piety, loving Mary with the Heart of Christ living in us through grace, that is, “as a new personal experience for us of that love of Jesus for his Mother, as a flowering of love from his heart into ours.
…For his Father: in the sublime dignity of St. Joseph as the nourishing father of Jesus we can see a reflection of the majesty and infinite love of the Eternal Father, who wanted to communicate to St. Joseph, in a certain sense, a radiance of his own divine paternity. St. Joseph was before the eyes of Jesus the representative on earth, the lieutenant of God the Father: he represented his authority and majesty, his holiness, his providence and wisdom, his power and life, and above all, his love. And Jesus, seeing and loving his Eternal Father in St. Joseph, is the first model and source of our devotion to this great saint.
If we love Jesus and Mary, we must also love St. Joseph tenderly: that we think of him, invoke him with fervour, and imitate him in his love for Jesus and Mary.
-Lesson of Love for Man: Propter nostram salutem, for our Salvation: all that Our Lord did also in the Sweet Bethlehem was to show us the love He has for us.
In a sermon “Hanging on the Cross”, Father Buela says: “On the Cross he thought of his saints…he thought of each one of us”. This Holy Night we could say: “From the manger, lying down, he saw the stars, he saw in them all the generations of his children whom he came to rescue because he loved us first.
Let us ask this Christmas for the grace to be able to imitate the greatness of the Heart of the Child of Bethlehem and to love what he loved: The Eternal Father, Mary, Joseph and each of our brothers.