Spiritual Crusade – Day 22

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This is day 22 of our 54 day spiritual crusade. Please join us in prayer for the protection of unborn children in Ireland and in your own country. 

Intention: to obtain from God, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that Ireland may be entirely delivered from the evil of abortion and that the bishops may be granted the grace to preach the gospel fearlessly and to defend unborn children with all their strength.

Prayer: Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary

A reflection on the Third Joyful Mystery – The Nativity of Christ

“OF all the thoughts which rise in the mind when contemplating the sojourn of our Lord Jesus Christ upon earth, none perhaps is more affecting and subduing than the obscurity which attended it. I do not mean His obscure condition, in the sense of its being humble; but the obscurity in which He was shrouded, and the secrecy which He observed. This characteristic of His first Advent is referred to very frequently in Scripture, as in the text, ‘The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not;’ and is in contrast with what is foretold about His second Advent. Then ‘every eye shall see Him;’ which implies that all shall recognize Him; whereas, when He came for the first time, though many saw Him, few indeed discerned Him. It had been prophesied, ‘When we shall see Him there is no beauty that we should desire Him;’ and at the very end of his ministry, He said to one of His twelve chosen friends, ‘Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip?’ [Isai. liii. 2. John xiv. 9.]

“His condescension in coming down from heaven, in leaving His Father’s glory and taking flesh, is so far beyond power of words or thought, that one might consider at first sight that it mattered little whether He came as a prince or a beggar. And yet after all, it is much more wonderful that He came in low estate, for this reason; because it might have been thought beforehand, that, though He condescended to come on earth, yet He would not submit to be overlooked and despised: now the rich are not despised by the world, and the poor are. If He had come as a great prince or noble, the world without knowing a whit more that He was God, yet would at least have looked up to Him and honoured Him, as being a prince; but when He came in a low estate, He took upon him one additional humiliation, contempt,—being contemned, scorned, rudely passed by, roughly profaned by His creatures.

“What were the actual circumstances of His coming? His Mother is a poor woman; she comes to Bethlehem to be taxed, travelling, when her choice would have been to remain at home. She finds there is no room in the inn; she is obliged to betake herself to a stable; she brings forth her firstborn Son, and lays Him in a manger. That little babe, so born, so placed, is none other than the Creator of heaven and earth, the Eternal Son of God.”

– Bl. John Henry Newman, “Christ Hidden from the World”, Plain and Parochial Sermons, (Vol IV)