A MEDITATION ON THE NATIVITY
by Mother Mary Loyola, 1845-1930
How hath He not with Him given us all things? ~Rom viii:32
He lays Himself down on the straw in the coldest hour of the winter's night. His little limbs are trembling, and there are tears of pain in His eyes. But He stretches out His arms to us, and the smile on His lips says:
Here I am. I am come at last. Take Me and do with Me what you will. I am come to be your little servant, to be of use to you in any way that I can.
You need a Redeemer: I will redeem you when I am old enough. I am too small to be crucified yet, but when I am grown up I will shed the last drop of My blood for you. In a week's time I will give some to show you I am ready to give all.**
You need a physician, for you are sick. I have medicine for every pain and disease; I will cure you.
You need a master. I will teach you with My words as soon as I can speak, and meantime if you come to My crib, come up close enough, look long enough, you will learn many things from Me even now.
You need a companion and a friend. That is just what I have come for -- to be a companion that will never leave your side, a friend who will love you dearly, never tire of you, never weary of listening to your troubles, always be thinking of you; who will watch over you, share your joys and your sorrows; advise, warn, encourage you, provide for you in every need.
You want food. Even this I will be to you. I will come into your heart to give you strength to work out your salvation grandly ; to make you grow up like Me; to make it easy and pleasant to do even hard things, things that cost, things that hurt.
You want a brother. I have come all the way from heaven to be your Brother. I have taken your nature that I may be like you in all things. Look at Me and see. I have hands, and feet, and eyes, and heart like you, that I may feel as you feel, bear pain as you have to bear it, work as you must do, and be an example to you in working and in suffering. I am your Brother, come to take you by the hand and lead you to My Father, who will love you for My sake.
Yes, I am all yours, do with Me what you like. Will you find it in your heart to hurt Me? I know you will. I know what your sins will cost me. I know what is going to happen to My hands, and feet, and side. But I am ready for it all, if only you will let me save you, and take you back with Me to heaven. Do not turn from Me; do not disappoint Me. Listen to Me; follow Me; return Me love for love.
**The book in which this meditation appears was first published in 1902. At that time, the Church celebrated the Circumcision of Our Lord one week after Christmas on the Octave Day of Christmas, January 1. That explains Mother Loyola's reference to Christ shedding some of his blood "in a week's time". This feast is still kept and celebrated on January 1 in the Traditional Latin Mass. In the Ordinary Form of the Mass, January 1 is now known as the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. As an aside, this particular book by Mother Loyola was recently republished in 2011 and is available from various booksellers.