If the Redeemer had come to be feared and respected by men, He would have come as a full-grown man and with royal dignity: but because He came to gain our love, He chose to come and to show Himself as an infant and the poorest of infants, born in a cold stable between two animals, laid in a manger on straw, without clothing or fire to warm His shivering limbs: "Thus would He be born, who willed to be loved and not feared" [emphasis mine].He desires most to be loved! What other way could he have chosen to come that would have incited more love than as a vulnerable baby and a poor one at that? Despite the Fall and our muddled thinking, we retain enough vestigial goodness to be moved to love when faced with the sight of a poor, shivering baby. How he must desire to be loved by us! What can I learn about the Heart of Jesus from my experience of my own young children’s love? They love without reserve. They forgive readily. They desire to be near me, often flinging themselves into my arms. They are delighted by my presence and are elated when I return to them. They fall over themselves to tell me things, to show me their latest stunts, to connect with me in every way. They hide nothing of themselves, keep nothing back, and play no games in love, the kind those of us who have been hurt by love are prone to play. Their love is innocent, fervent, and complete. Can I believe this about Jesus? In the form of an adult man, it is more difficult for me. I have been hurt by the “love” of adult men. But in the form of a small child, I can. Here -- in the Child Jesus -- is where I can truly encounter the Divine Love.
Copyright 2018 Amanda Woodiel
About the Author
Amanda Woodiel is a Catholic convert, a mother to five children ages 11 to 3, a slipshod housekeeper, an enamored wife, and a “good enough” homeschooler who believes that the circumstances of her life -- both good and bad -- are pregnant with grace. She leads a moms' group at her parish that focuses on simple and meaningful ways to live the liturgical year at home. Amanda blogs at In a Place of Grace.