But if [our] thankfulness is genuine, where are its fruits? What return have I made to this "God with us," for His Life on earth for me? (cf, Ps 116:12) Have I even taken the trouble to know it in any detail, to bring myself under its influence, to study its lessons, to suffer myself to be won by His generosity so as to return Him love for love?
This is what the saints have done and are doing on earth today. To them Christmas is not simply a season of merriment that happily closes the year. The Crib is not a mere accessory of the time, to be visited by the elders out of condescension to the children or for the satisfaction of curiosity should it happen to offer any attraction to artistic taste. The Crib of St. Francis was a study, a model for imitation. How many of us go to it for this?
~Mother Mary Loyola, With the Church, Volume 1, Advent to the Ascension
Originally published in 1924 by Burns, Oates & Washbourne
Republished by St. Augustine Academy Press, 2015
O Beloved Child of Bethlehem, lead me to Your crib that I may not only learn of You, so gentle and humble of heart, but also, through Your grace and truth, become ever more like You, for the Father's honor, praise and glory. Amen.