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Christmas Meditation Next to the Child God in the Crib Part 3 - on His Compassion

By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

 

Infinite Compassion

Approach with me the crib of the Child God.

As we draw closer to our God, imagine the mercy of the Child Jesus. This divine mercy is most evident when He seeks our good and discerns what is good and bad in us. In His mercy, the Child God considers the miserable condition of every man traveling through this vale of tears.

The mercy of Christ analyzes the sorrow and suffering that each of us brings along — past, present and future suffering. The grief and sorrow that you may feel at this very moment. He already knows all of this because He is God. And He also sees the risk that our souls run of going to hell. As Catholics, we know that on his earthly journey man is exposed to the very real danger of losing his soul for all eternity.

Also, imagine the Child Jesus looking at Purgatory and the torments that await us there if we are not entirely faithful.

His Face now shows a look of sympathy and deep participation in our pain; a desire to remove that pain as much as possible in view of our sanctification. In His infinite mercy, this Infant desires to give us the strength to withstand whatever pain is necessary for our sanctification.

In Him, we see that which so greatly consoles the human soul: perfect compassion.

It is part of our human nature for us, when we are suffering, to feel consoled at seeing that someone has pity on us. Compassion thus lessens suffering by sharing in it. Man is made in such a way that when he is happy and communicates his joy, that joy is doubled; and when he is sad and communicates that sadness, the sorrow is divided.

So also are we made stronger when we discern in the face of the Child God that most perfect compassion.

In all the sufferings of our life, when the cup to drink is very bitter, we should repeat, through Our Lady, His prayer: “My Father, if possible, move this cup away from me, but let Your will be done, and not mine.”

At any time we can ask that the pain cease. However, if it is His will that we drink from a bitter cup as He did, we are certain that our pain will find His compassion. In addition, He will tell us: “My son, I am suffering with you! Let us suffer together, for I suffered for you; a moment will come when you will forever participate in My joy.” And we can be sure that the compassionate gaze of Jesus will not leave us a single moment of our existence.

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for August 5, 2021

To the servant of God … every place is the right place and...

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August 5

 

To the servant of God
… every place is the right place,
and every time is the right time.

St. Catherine of Siena


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major

Built over the place where a miraculous snow fell in the mid...

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Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major

Santa Maria Maggiore or St. Mary Major is the largest church in the world honoring the Virgin Mary and was erected in the immediate aftermath of the Council of Ephesus of 431, which proclaimed Mary Mother of God.
Standing atop one of Rome’s seven hills, the Esquiline, it is also called Santa Maria ad Nives, or "at the snow." It is said that the Mother of God chose this location for a church dedicated in her honor by a miraculous snow that fell upon this spot in summer. Legend has it a rich and pious Roman senator and his wife thought of donating their money and properties to the Church. That night, in August of 358, Our Lady appeared in the dreams of the senator and Pope Liberius asking them to build her a basilica in the exact place where snow would fall that night. Since then, Our Lady has been venerated in Italy as “Our Lady of the Snow.”

The basilica is also home to a few remnants of the humble crib in which Christ was laid at His birth. These pieces of the manger were carried to Rome by Christians fleeing the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land in the 7th century. They are preserved in a silver reliquary resembling an ordinary manger, upon which lies an image of the Infant Jesus. The Holy Crib is the object of particular devotion and veneration during the liturgical ceremonies of Christmas Eve and Midnight Mass. On Christmas morning there is a procession in honor of the Holy Crib of the Infant Jesus, which culminates in the exposition of the sacred relic on the high altar.

Another venerable treasure of Santa Maria Maggiore is the icon of Our Lady under the invocation of  "Salus Populi Romani," literally translated as "health (or salvation) of the Roman people." According to tradition, this image of Mary embracing Jesus as a young boy was the work of the evangelist St. Luke, who painted it on a tabletop made by Our Lord himself in St. Joseph's carpentry shop. This miraculous icon has been carried in processions around Rome on many occasions. In 593 the newly-elected Pope St. Gregory the Great had the icon carried in public procession through the streets of Rome praying for an end to the Black Plague. Pope St. Pius V followed his example in 1571 to pray for victory during the Battle of Lepanto, as did Pope Gregory XVI in 1837 to pray for the end of the cholera epidemic.

Second Photo by: Fczarnowski

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the days of yore, when travel must be had on foot or by h...

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The Virgin Mary Rewards a Bandit

In the days of yore, when travel must be had on foot or by horse, many were the dangers to be found along the roadways. Bandits plagued travelers and made their living by depriving others of their goods and often their very lives.

A young woman in the Papal States, who was very devout towards Mary, met in a certain place a chief of the bandits. Fearing some outrage, she implored him, for love of the most holy Virgin, not to molest her.

"Do not fear," he answered, "for you have prayed me in the name of the mother of God; and I only ask you to recommend me to her." Moved by the woman’s mention of the Blessed Virgin, the bandit accompanied her himself along the road to a place of safety.

The following night, Mary appeared in a dream to the bandit. She thanked him for the act of kindness he had performed for love of her. Mary went on to say that she would remember it and would one day reward him.

The robber, at length, was arrested, and condemned to death. But behold, the night previous to his execution, the blessed Virgin visited him again in a dream, and first asked him: "Do you know who I am?"

He answered, "It seems to me I have seen you before."

"I am the Virgin Mary," she continued, "and I have come to reward you for what you have done for me. You will die tomorrow, but you will die with so much contrition that you will come at once to paradise."

The convict awoke, and felt such contrition for his sins that he began to weep bitterly, all the while giving thanks aloud to our Blessed Lady. He asked immediately for a priest, to whom he made his confession with many tears, relating the vision he had seen. Finally, he asked the priest to make public this grace that had been bestowed on him by Mary.

He went joyfully to his execution, after which, as it is related, his countenance was so peaceful and so happy that all who saw him believed that the promise of the heavenly mother had been fulfilled.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

In the days of yore, when travel must be had on foot or by horse, many were the dangers to be found along the roadways.