Friday, December 25, 2015

Spirituality: “Kneeling before Christ’s Manger” By Francois Mauriac (1885 – 1970)

Even in our old age we have much in common with the little child in the crib; we recognize ourselves in that child and in a sense we are that child. One part of our being, a most hidden part, is the child who has not experienced evil; by this fact a part of our being is like unto God …

How difficult it is to keep my attention fixed on your childhood, Jesus, not to be drawn toward the abyss of your tortured humanity, toward your passion, and your death. I am attracted to your passion by our resemblance in suffering; because suffering summed up and, as it were, defined your humanity, an instinct precipitates those who love you to the call of your halting voice, towards the moments of agony and suffering in your life. But it is not at the foot of the cross that we are closest to you; it is perhaps while kneeling before your manger, before the God-Child who has just been born. O Infinite Child, we do not expect you to forgive us for crimes which you do not yet understand.

What attracted me to your adult body – tortured, crucified, and pierced with a lance – was it conformity to mine. O sorrowful Christ, in whom I seek myself and in whom I find myself, give me the grace to stop by your manger, to lean at length over your Infinite Being totally captured within a little flesh.