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The Child and His Mother

Ave Maria Meditations

“And going into the house they saw the Child with Mary His Mother and they fell down and worshiped Him”  (Mt. 2:11)

Sometimes when I consider how I Have failed God in my life– in ways small and large–and continue to do so now even daily. I fail in love and charity and in my duties and sometimes I can almost feel a discouragement want to creep in. Yet I know that the mercy of God is greater than all my sins. I know Our Lord has repaired for them and makes intercession for me, for me who continues to not correspond with graces given in so many ways.

And knowing that I have indeed deserved chastisement, it would seem logical for punishment to be due and I can almost fear that. But then I can look on a Crucifix and see the extent of love for souls there; the love for my soul there. Yet there is also another way to see Our Lord and it is not a way intimidating or scary. The One who has invited us to come to Him for He is meek and humble of Heart, came to us as a baby. A baby! And how scary is a baby? One wants to hold and cuddle them. They are dependent. Our Precious Lord who comes to us now under the form of Bread, first came to us as a Baby! Such a Christmas thought! It astounds the heart.

Here are some of St. Bernard’s thoughts on this idea:

O Little One desirable to little ones! O Little One truly! But only little in malice, not in wisdom. Let us endeavor to become like this Little One. Let us learn of Him because He is “meek and humble of heart.” Otherwise the great God will have become a Little One in vain, in vain will have died, in vain will have endured the cross. Let us learn His humility, let us imitate His meekness, let us respond to His charity, let us share in His sufferings, let us cleanse ourselves in His Blood.

Yea, let us offer Him as a ” propitiation for our sins,” because unto this is He born and given to us. Let us offer Him to the eyes of the Father: let us offer Him to His own eyes also: for the Father hath” spared not even His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,” and the Son hath “emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant”; “He hath delivered His Soul unto death and was reputed with the wicked, and He hath borne the sins of many, and hath prayed for the transgressors,” so that they might not perish. They cannot perish for whom the Son prays the Father that they may be saved, and for whom, that they may live, the Father delivered His Son to death. Pardon, therefore, is to be hoped for equally from Father and Son, Who are equal in mercy and loving-kindness, equal in omnipotence of will, identical in the Essence of their Divinity, in Which, with the Holy Spirit, They live and reign, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

And we find that Baby with His Mother, and our Mother, Mary. She shows us her little Son for our adoration and as we grow in love, she shows us the way of the cross that leads to union with that Son.

A Blessed Christmas season to you.

Ave Maria!



Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

Author Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

Our Lady found this unworthy lukewarm person and obtained for her the grace to enter the Third Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. May this person spend all eternity in showing her gratitude.

More posts by Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Alex Antunes says:

    Touching reflexion! I love St. Bernard’s thoughs! He had a immense love for Our Lord Jesus Christ and for the Blessed Mother as wel. I think we can call him Apostle of the Divine Mercy, because he always preached about Divine Mercy, referring (forwarding) the sinners directly to God or through the intercession of the Blessed Mother.

  • Alex Antunes says:

    It’s not a Christmas tale, but it is a salutary (enligtening story). It’s a story from St. Bernard’s life.

    I found it in the blog Heróis medievais (medieval heroes).

    St. Bernard: “I’m going to dispatch (to execute) this criminal with my own hands!”

    One day when St. Bernard headed to the court of Count Theobald, a group of soldiers who were conducting a prisoner to the gallows to hang him encountered the Saint [St. Bernard].

    Seeing the scene, S. Bernard seized the rope that the condemned was conducted with, and made this strange (weird) proposal to the executioners:

    – Deliver me this criminal, and I will execute (dispatch) him with my own hands.

    At that time, the count approached. His astonishment was profound to see the Saint, who he estimated as he was his father , between the killer and the officers of justice. He was stunned to hear the petition of his friend [that is, St. Bernard]:

    – Venerable father, what does this mean? Why do you intend to save the life of a murderer who deserves death hundreds of times? It is an incorrigible son of Satan, and the best service we can render to him is to deprive him of life. The interests of society require his death.

    – I know that this man is worthy of death, and I do not intend to let him go unpunished. Rather, I want to subject him to harsh and perpetual punishment. You would hand him on the scaffold, where soon he would escape to your power, but I will bind him at a cross, where he will suffer many years.

    Theobald having not formulated objections, Bernardo put his hood on the wrongdoer, whom he named Constantine, taking him to the convent.

    After thirty years of severe penance, the blessed Constantine died, his feast day is March 16.

    (Source: Ailbe Luddy, “Bernard of Clairvaux”)

  • Alex Antunes says:

    Source: São Bernardo: “eu vou executar esse criminoso com minhas próprias mãos!”

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