The Son of God, in becoming human for our sake, might have appeared in the world at the age of a grown man, the way Adam appeared when he was created. But since children usually attract greater love to themselves from those who take care of them, Jesus chose to appear on earth as an infant; and as the poorest and most miserable infant ever born.
Saint Peter Chrysologous wrote: “Our God chose to be born this way because he wanted to be loved.” The prophet Isaiah had already predicted that the Son of God was to be born an infant and give himself entirely to us through the love he bore for us: A child is born to us, a son is given to us (Isaiah 9:6a).
O my Jesus, almighty and true God, what else could possibly have attracted you to come from heaven and be born in a cave, if not your love for us?
What convinced you to leave the lap of your Father and lay yourself down in a manger?
What drew you down from your throne above the stars to stretch yourself out on a little pile of straw?
What, from the midst of the nine choirs of angels, has placed you between these sheep and oxen?
You inflame the seraphim with holy fire, yet look, you tremble from the cold in this stable! You give the sun, the stars, and the planets their paths of movement, yet now you cannot move at all without being carried in someone’s arms!
You provide food for all creatures, and yet now you depend on a little milk to sustain your life. You are the delight of heaven, and yet how is it that I now hear you whimper and cry? Tell me, who has reduced you to such lowliness? “Who has done this? Love has done it,” says Saint Bernard. Yes, the love that you have for us has done it.
Affections and Prayers
O dearest Infant, tell me what you came on earth to do. Tell me whom you are seeking. Ah, yes, I now understand…you have come to die for me, a lost sheep, in order that I may no more hide from you, but love you. O Jesus, my treasure, my life, my love, my all, if I do not love you, then whom shall I love? Where can I find a mother or father, a friend, or a spouse more loving than you? And who has ever loved me more than you have? I am sorry that I have lived so many years in this world and yet still love you so little, even having offended you and sometimes forgotten you.
Forgive me, O my beloved Redeemer, for I regret that I have ever treated you so badly. I am sorry with all my heart. Forgive me, and give me your grace so that I may never again separate myself from you, and so that I may love you constantly for the rest of my life. O my love, I give myself to you entirely. Accept me, Lord, and do not reject me, even though I might deserve it.
O Mary, you are my advocate. You always obtain whatever you ask from your son. Beg him to forgive me, and to help me persevere until death.