Love Is Born – Love Is Poor

[A Rosary Meditation on the 3rd Joyful Mystery – The Nativity]

"Christ, the gift of the Father's love, is the way to him; the truth into which the Holy Spirit leads us; and the life which he has come to give abundantly." [cf. SFO Rule: Article IV.]

Christmas is the day the Church has chosen to celebrate The Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ: The Gift of the Father's Love. Today, Love is born.

From a Crèche prayer to the Divine Infant we hear…"In a word, you became weak to make me strong, poor to enrich me, humble to exalt me, subject to all sufferings in order to free me from all evils and procure for me all blessings."

Weak…poor…humble…subject to suffering? Our Rule tells us: "Trusting in the Father, Christ chose for himself and his mother a poor and humble life… [cf. SFO Rule: Article XI.]

Consider the circumstances regarding our Lords humble birth. Don't overlook how the Holy Family were obliged to leave their home for the census; their arrival at the inn with no room; and their finding refuge within a lowly manger. Amidst all of this we find myriads of angels well aware of all hardships and every detail surrounding the Holy Family; yet proclaiming peace and singing praise to God Most High.

Dedicated Christians quickly come to understand that circumstances and events in the life of Jesus are not the result of happenstance or divine caprice. It is theologically correct, (and therefore very significant), to say that 'Christ chose for himself and his mother a poor and humble life'.

The Word is sent by the Father to reveal a God who is Love: and more, to save us and bring us abundant life. Yet in accepting this greatest of all Christmas gifts, it is required that our hands be empty: this is our poverty. It is simply in the nature of God that in order to 'possess' him we must have open hands and pure hearts to receive.

What are some implications for us as we strive to conform ourselves to our Lord? We could begin by taking into consideration our personal celebration of Christmas itself. We might stop to adore Jesus hidden in the manger and not be overly concerned about the lack of room for him in the inn (or the modern culture). He simply chose not to be born there. "For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich." [2Cor 8:9]. Don't deny him his poverty even if its specter causes you to shudder.

In the spirit of Christmas giving, I offer to all people of good will, a passage from the Rule of the Secular Franciscans that is free but not cheap…amazingly efficacious…field tested and proven by those who have sought to follow Jesus through the example of St. Francis. It reads:"Thus, in the spirit of 'the Beatitudes'… we should strive to purify our hearts from every tendency and yearning for possession and power."

Indeed, we won't find him in the comfortable inn: but as we 'empty ourselves' we become attracted toward the lowly and holy manger. As we draw near we can hear the shepherds proclaim among those present: "Love is born – Love is poor."

We adore You hidden in the manger.

May Christ's peace be with you this Christmas Season and throughout the New Year.



Little Scribe said...

Thank you for this beautiful Christmas meditation. Merry Christmas and God's blessings for you and your family.

Cre8Tiva said...

this is a beautiful meditation glad i found your comment on another blog about the real ideal for Mother Theresa's order is to sanctify themselves...and in doing so,sanctify all their work...loved it...thank you for writing it...blessings, rebecca

Lee Strong said...

A Christmas Poem

Oh, to have been a shepherd or a king
and to have heard those angels sing
or to have seen that star so bright
upon that holy Christmas night.

But Christmas transcends both time and place
and we can share in that night’s grace
when like those humble ones back then
we heed God’s call and proclaim, “Amen.”