Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Intimacy with Jesus at Christmas - John Henry Newman

“What an awesome feast Christmas is! The birth of Christ – the Word of God come among us –the Light of the World! It is hard to comprehend it. He came, not because we were good, but to make us good. If any belief should be called ‘awesome,’ it is this. That ‘God,’ the fulfillment of our hearts’ desires, should enter our world, be born of a woman, and walk shoulder to shoulder with us on our journeys, helping us with his grace…. It is beyond comprehension. Perhaps we can at most catch a glimmer of its meaning as we kneel with the por shepherds and adore.
            The reflection by Blessed John Henry Newman below captures something of Jesus’ intimacy with us. It includes the words:
 "God beholds you individually whoever you are. He calls you by your name. He sees you and understands you as He made you. He know what is in you, all your peculiar feelings and thoughts, your dispositions and likings, your strength and your weakness. He views you in your day of rejoicing and in your day of sorrow. He sympathizes in your hopes and your temptations. He interests Himself in all your anxieties and remembrances, and all the risings and fallings of your spirit. He has numbered the hairs of your head and the cubits of your stature. He compasses you round and bears you in His arms; He takes you up and sets you down. He notes your very countenance, whether smiling or in tears, whether healthful or sickly. He looks tenderly upon your hands and your feet; He hears your voice, the beating of your heart, and your very breathing. You do not love yourself better than He loves you. You cannot shrink from pain more than he dislikes you bearing it; and if He puts it on you, it is as if you would put it on yourself if your were wise, for a greater good afterwards. You are chosen to be His. You were one of those for whom Christ offered up His life and sealed it with his precious blood."

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