Quote of the day, 25 December: St. John of the Cross

When the time had come
for him to be born,
he went forth like the bridegroom
from his bridal chamber,
embracing his bride,
holding her in his arms,
whom the gracious Mother
laid in a manger
among some animals
that were there at that time.
Men sang songs
and angels melodies
celebrating the marriage
of Two such as these.
But God there in the manger
cried and moaned;
and these tears were jewels
the bride brought to the wedding.
The Mother gazed in sheer wonder
on such an exchange:
in God, man’s weeping,
and in man, gladness,
to the one and the other
things usually so strange.

Saint John of the Cross
Romances, Stanza 9

The Nativity with Saints (detail)
Ridolfo Ghirlandaio (Italian, 1483–1561)
Oil on wood, c. 1514
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

There is no place where the Savior is present more than in the everyday routine of our lives, as we faithfully and humbly carry out the tasks that are incumbent upon us in our family life or professional life…

When we approach the manger, where Mary has just laid her first-born Child, we see with our own eyes that God’s coming into our lives is at the same time both unheard-of and very simple.

For nine months, Mary had allowed her child to take on flesh from her own flesh. For her, there was nothing more mysterious, yet at the same time nothing more real than this life that was growing inside her.

As for us, our faith assures us that the presence of God in us is the most hidden and true, the most mysterious and simple reality of our existence. Kneeling before the Child of the manger, we discover that, in order to welcome the presence of God, we only need to be silent and receive the One who stretches out his arms to us.

At the manger, let’s remember what the Lord has enabled us to experience during Advent.

Probably, not much that has been spectacular, but without a doubt, he has made us more attentive to the discreet passage of his Holy Spirit in our lives: it’s his active presence, always there at the heart of our lives.

Let’s give thanks to him and keep alive the desire to live each moment of our existence by remaining ‘plugged in’ to God’s presence, which is always there, and to bear witness to him with those around us.

Father Anthony-Joseph Pinelli, ocd

Carmelite Online Retreat — Advent 2022
Welcoming the presence of God in our lives

With the Blessed Virgin Mary,
to LIVE in God’s PRESENCE (excerpt)

Translation from the French text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.

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