Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Seventh Day of Christmas

MEDITATION VII: Jesus weeping.

The tears of the Infant Jesus were very different from those of other new-born babes: they weep through pain; Jesus did not weep from pain, but through compassion for us and through love: "They weep because of suffering, Christ because of compassion," says St. Bernard. Tears are a great sign of love. Therefore did the Jews say when they saw the Savior weeping for the death of Lazarus: Behold how he loved him (John 11:36). Thus also might the angels have said on beholding the tears of the Infant Jesus: "Behold how he loves them." Behold how our God loves men; since for the love of them we see him made man, become an Infant, and shedding tears.

Jesus wept and offered to his Father his tears to obtain for us the pardon of our sins. "These tears," says St. Ambrose, "washed away my sins;" by his cries and tears he implored mercy for us who were condemned to eternal death, and thus he appeased the indignation of his Father. Oh, how eloquently did the tears of this divine little one plead in our behalf! Oh, how precious were they to God! It was then that the Father caused the angels to proclaim that he made peace with men, and received them into his favor: And on earth peace to men of good will (Luke 2:14).

Jesus wept through love, but he also wept through sorrow at the thought that so many sinners, even after all his tears and the blood he should shed for their salvation, would yet continue to despise his grace. But who would be so hard-hearted, on seeing an Infant God weeping for our sins, as not to weep also, and to detest those sins that have made this loving Savior shed so many tears? Oh, let us not increase the sorrows of this innocent babe; but let us console him by uniting our tears to his! Let us offer to God the tears of his Son, and let us beseech him for their sake to forgive us!

Affections and Prayers.

My beloved Infant, while you were weeping in the stable of Bethlehem, you wert thinking of me; beholding even then my sins, which were the cause of your tears. And have I, then, O my Jesus! instead of consoling you by my love and gratitude at the thought of what you have suffered to save me, have I increased your sorrow and the cause of your tears? If I had sinned less, you would have wept less. Weep, oh, weep, for you have cause to weep in seeing such great ingratitude of men to your great love. But since you weep, weep also for me; your tears are my hope. I also will weep for the offences I have committed against you, O my Redeemer! I hate them, I detest them, I repent of them with my whole heart. I weep for all those days and those wretched nights of mine in which I lived as your enemy and deprived of your beautiful face; but what would my tears avail, O my Jesus, without yours!

Eternal Father, I offer you the tears of the Infant Jesus; for their sake forgive me. And you, my dearest Savior, offer to him all the tears that you shed for me during your life, and with them appease his anger against me. I beseech you also, O my Love, to soften my heart by these tears, and to inflame it with your holy love. Oh that I could from this day forth console you by my love for all the pain I have caused you by offending you! Grant, therefore, O Lord! that the days that remain to me in this life may not any more be spent in offending you, but only in weeping for the offences I have committed against you, and in loving you with all the affections of my soul.

O Mary, I beseech you, by that tender compassion which you so often felt at the sight of the Infant Jesus in tears, obtain for me a constant sorrow for the offences which I have so ungratefully been guilty of against him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. This is my prayer too. Thank you for this.