I think this painting says it all. Mary is looking at baby Jesus, the Incarnate Deity, while Joseph looks at Mary. The shepherd, too, is transfixed by God made man. And the Angels? I think they are divided between wonder at the Mother of God, and sharing her wonder. As St. John of the Cross puts it in his Romance on The Birth:
But God there in the manger cried and moaned;
and these tears were jewels
the bride brought to the wedding.
The Mother gazed in sheer wonder on such an exchange:
in God, man's weeping,
and in man, gladness,
to the one and the other
things usually so strange.
And yet He didn't come down to earth to cry, but to love us and be loved. To kiss us and be kissed. To sigh with us and let us sigh to Him. To smile at us and let us smile at Him. To glance at us - gaze at us, really, and let us gaze back, long into the night and through the ensuing days and years, until He brings us to Heaven where we will gaze in joy forever.
Marcel and I and our big sister Therese wish you a long gaze at Jesus this Christmas. May your sighs, which to a stranger might seem sighs of fatigue or irritation, become sighs of love as He enfolds you in His newborn yet eternal love. May you know His smile as He gazes at you from His poor manger crib. And best of all, may you experience His sweet kiss in Holy Communion, for He has come down from Heaven for no other reason than to unite us to Himself, as He has united His nature to ours.
Wherever Christmas finds you this year, know that Jesus will find you too. His look of love has only grown more ardent through the centuries since His first nativity, and over the years since your first magical Christmases. He loves you so very much - more with each passing moment! - and as He told Marcel, "a single one of your joys suffices to console Me very much."
In the interest of delighting and consoling Jesus, then, may your Christmas be merry and bright! And we hope your joys run into the realm of the uncountable, rather than remaining single joys!
Here at Miss Marcel's Musings, we are praying for a Christmas miracle for our friend Finn, a 13 year old boy who isn't able to walk or speak these days. And, I should add, we aren't the only ones praying! I wrote about our prayer (tucked into a longer musing) HERE, and my alma mater posted about that article (and thus about our prayer for Finn) HERE.
We're asking Marcel to approach the Holy Infant and obtain the gift of Finn's complete healing - either today or sometime in this Christmas octave. Please join us in asking for this miracle, and let us approach the creche together with great confidence, for Jesus loves nothing more than delighting us, even as He delights in us.
Sometimes His delights seem long in coming - it has been this way for Finn and his family. And it was this long, drawn out little way for Marcel, too. It was only on Christmas in 1940, when Marcel was nearly Finn's age, that our brother at last received the miracle he awaited. When he later read Story of a Soul, he rejoiced that his sister Therese also had the grace of a Christmas miracle in her childhood.
For Therese, she called it her conversion, for she was healed of her hyper-sensitivity (though God preserved her gift of a sensitivity like His, far beyond your average bear's). For Marcel, his miracle was an interior illumination that enlightened him as to how he could go on amidst suffering - his vocation was to turn suffering into joy. What I love is that this miracle did not make him insensitive either. One only has to dip into his Conversations to find that Marcel was a big fan of lessening suffering wherever and in whatever form it was to be found, so I'm sure he will be happy to plead Finn's cause with their best friend, little Jesus.
We know that however long He takes in fulfilling His promises, Jesus came to bring His abundant joy (His joy within the perfect eternal Love of the Blessed Trinity), and so we hope and pray He will bring miracles to Finn and to all those who need miracles this Holy Night and throughout this Season of Joy.
Marcel, pray for Finn and for us to the Divine Infant!
Mary and Joseph, draw us into your radiant circle of love, in the light of His Holy Face!
And darling little Jesus, draw me, we will run!!!
Marcel and I will be praying for you at our Christmas Mass - if it is in any way possible, may our Heavenly Father, adorable baby Jesus, and their Holy Spirit, love you even more!
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