Meditations - Saturday in the Second Week of Advent: The Happiness of Man through the Incarnation
Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation
We will meditate tomorrow on the great blessings which accrue to us from the Incarnation of the Word, and we will consider the Word Incarnate: first, as our Consoler in troubles; second, as the charitable Physician who cures all our miseries. We will then make the resolution: first, to have recourse in all our troubles to Jesus Christ, as to our only real Consoler; second, no longer to attach ourselves to the false goods of this world, but to Jesus Christ alone. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of the Saviour: “Come to Me, all ye that labour and are burdened, and I will refresh you” (mat xi:28).
Meditation for the Morning
Let us adore the Eternal Word drawn down to earth by His tender charity (eph ii:4), there to be the Consoler of the afflicted, the Help of those who suffer, the Strength of the weak, the Resource of the human race. Oh, how greatly He deserves, by all these titles, our homage and our love!
The Incarnate Word is our Consoler in all our Troubles.
Let us consider, with a deep sentiment of devotion, the Incarnate Word choosing as His portion here below all the miseries of humanity, with the sole exception of sin, in order thereby to be more capable of consoling us, more disposed to have pity on our troubles (heb iv:15). If He had lived upon earth in the midst of enjoyment and pleasure, He would not have had grace to dry the eyes of those who weep and suffer. It would have been hard for the poor in their wretchedness to rejoice in His word if He had spoken it from the midst of opulence. Surrounded by glory and honours, how would He have been able to inculcate the love of poverty and humiliation? But, on the contrary, He is able to say to us, “You suffer, and I also have suffered, and suffered more than you. You are in need of many things, and I also was naked and despoiled of all in the womb of My mother, and since My birth I have had nothing all my life long except the food, the lodging, and the clothes of the poor. Obscurity and humiliation are revolting to you, and I hid My greatness from all eyes, and was looked upon whilst I was on earth as a man of nothing, a madman, an ignorant man possessed by the devil, a criminal”. Then we shall understand how wrong we have been to complain; how, in deifying in His Person humility, poverty, and suffering, Jesus Christ has rendered them wholly worthy of our esteem and of our love: and we are consoled. It is a happiness for us to come and tell our sorrows to Him who was the first to suffer them, to address our sighs and confide our tears to Him who wept before us and for us. Oh, here indeed is the Consoler we needed, a Man-God, acquainted with infirmity (isa liii:3), a Man-God, pure and humble (heb ii:17). Let us thank, let us love, the Word Incarnate, and have recourse to Him in our troubles.
The Incarnate Word is the Charitable Physician who Cures all our Miseries.
Our primary miseries are our sins, which tear us with remorse, take from us peace, sometimes even hope, and compromise our salvation. The Incarnate Word offers us the remedy for this primary evil. He makes for us a salutary bath of His blood, and purifies us therein from all our stains (rev i:5). When we again fall, He raises us up and pardons us, provided that we return to Him; if we fall once more, He again pardons us; if we are always falling, He still pardons us on the one condition of repentance (mat ix:2). Next to sin our passions are our second miseries; they tyrannize over us, and are always trying to make us fall. Here again, if we have recourse to the Word Incarnate, if we say to Him with confidence: “He whom Thou lovest is sick” (joh xi:3); “heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee” (psa xl:5), He will reply to us: Receive My sacraments, meditate on My doctrine, be penetrated with My example, and you will triumph over your passions. Lastly, our third misery, the one which engenders all the others, is that deplorable error which makes us imagine that happiness consists in the enjoyment of external goods: honours, riches, pleasures false goods which may be taken from us at any moment by the caprice of man or of the elements. The Incarnate Word confronts this great evil by the example of His own person despoiled of external pomp. Around Him is nothing but poverty, humility, suffering, and hence He has excellently well said to whoever will listen to Him that there exists another greatness than that which strikes the senses, another glory than that of fame, another happiness than that of pleasures; that man is only happy by what exists within by peace of conscience, purity of heart, and that all which is outside us, not being ours, cannot render us either better or more honourable (psa xliv:14). Have we as yet comprehended this divine language? Does not what we are in the opinion of others touch us much more nearly than what we are in the sight of God? Content to be taken for what we are not, do not we delight in the praises which we well know we do not merit? When we are unjustly blamed, do we not allow ourselves to be cast down as if public contempt changed us from that which we really are?
Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.