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29th December - The Angels at the Crib


Meditations - 29th December: The Angels at the Crib

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will meditate tomorrow upon the angels at the crib, and we will consider: First, the homage which they render to the Child-God; Second, their zeal in drawing others thither; Third, the song which they chant in His praise. We will then make the resolution: First, often during the day to bless, in union with the angels, the Child-God, the heavenly Father who gave Him to us, and the Holy Spirit who formed Him, lovingly repeating, "Glory to God in the Highest" (Luke ii. I 4) ; Second, to do all we can to love and to cause others to love a God so loving, so amiable, and to perform all our actions with a view to pleasing Him. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the chant of the Church: "Glory to God in the highest "

Meditation for the Morning

Let us transport ourselves in spirit before the poor crib of Bethlehem, in which is laid the treasure of heaven, the ransom of the world, the joy of men and of angels. Humbly prostrate at the feet of the amiable Child, let us adore Him as our God; let us offer Him all that we have and all that we are; let us give up ourselves wholly to Him, and let us pour forth in His presence all the love of which our heart is capable. Ashamed at being able to offer Him so little, let us rejoice at the homage rendered to Him by the angels.

First point

The Homage which the Angels Render to the Child-God.

How beautiful was the stable at Bethlehem at the moment in which the Infant Jesus was born! It shone with a splendor!' more beautiful than that of any palace ; it became a Paradise. Docile to the order given them by the heavenly Father (Heb.i. 6), the angels descended there immediately, to adore their Saviour and their King under the form of a little child! The more they see their great God abased, the more they adore Him and recognize His infinite grandeur under the veil of so much abasement ; they confess that in comparison with His perfections their light is but darkness, their strength only weakness, their virtues only defects, and in addition that all the excellencies of nature, of grace, and of glory which are in them come from His munificence : it is a gift for which they are indebted to Him. They thank Him for it with a heart full of gratitude, and they proclaim that to Him alone belongs all honour and all glory, all praise and all benediction in time and in eternity. Let us rejoice at this homage rendered to the Infant Jesus; let us desire to have the hearts of the seraphim in order to honour Him in the same manner, and may the angels at the crib be the pattern of our adoration in church, during prayer, everywhere.

Second point

The Zeal of the Angels in attracting Adorers to Jesus Christ.

The heavenly spirits do not limit themselves to love the new-born Infant; they burn with the desire to make Him loved. It is not enough for them alone to enjoy the mystery of the crib, they long that it should be enjoyed by man also; and in consequence they wing their way towards the shepherds, who, at half a league's distance from Bethlehem, watch over their flocks. Gabriel, appearing in the air, in a human form, from out the midst of a dazzling light, which fills them with terror, says to them : Fear nothing, I bring you glad tidings which shall be an occasion of great joy to all the people; for this day is born to you a Saviour, in the city of David. And this is the sign whereby you shall know Him : you will find a child, wrapped in swaddling-clothes lying in a manger (Luke ii. 10-12). As soon as the heavenly messenger had ceased speaking, a great host of angels joined themselves with him and made the air resound with the praises of the Child­God. It is thus that when we love God we have it at heart to make Him loved by others. Where there is no zeal there is no love, but where there is great zeal there is great love. Let us judge ourselves by these rules.

Third Point

Song of the Angels at the Birth of the Saviour.

''Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace lo men of good will." Thus the angels sang ; let us meditate upon their song. '' Glory to God," that is to say: may God be glorified by the angels in heaven, for the Incarnation of the Word which procures for Him infinite glory. May God be glorified by men on earth, for the abasement of this same Word, who abases Himself only in order to exalt God and· procure His glory by saving men. May God be glorified in all our acts, in all our projects, in all our intentions; and may we never have any other aim. May God be glorified at the expense of our own abjection, at the expense of all sufferings and of all privations. "Peace on earth to men of good will," the angels added, that is to say : peace with God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ; for although the treaty of peace will have, later on, to be signed with His blood, and sealed with the seal of His cross, the acceptance of it is given from to-day; peace with our neighbour, by the spirit of charity and meekness which the cross preaches; peace for each individual with himself, through purity of conscience and the calm of an irreproachable heart, the fruits of the birth of the Saviour: a triple peace, but only for men of good-will ; that is to say, for those who, loving God frankly, are ready to make Him all the sacrifices which duty demands. Let us examine ourselves and see whether we are of this number.

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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