Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Sufferings of the Infant Jesus

Anyone who has ever visited our house knows that we have great devotion to the Infant Jesus. The Infant of Prague statue by the door is a dead give away, I guess. Once a business associate of my husband's was coming by and a friend suggested that we temporarily move the statue so as not to appear to be fanatics. My mother, however, said: "Never be ashamed of Jesus," and so the statue stayed. It turns out the associate was a gentleman of Italian descent and the Infant reminded him of his home and his beloved mama. "The more you honor Me, the more I will bless you," as Little Jesus told the Carmelite Father Cyril.

The month of January is traditionally dedicated to pondering the Christ Child. It has become even more appropriate to begin the New Year thus due to the anniversary of Roe vs Wade. In remembering His childhood we recall how He lives in innocent children all over the world, especially those who are in dire need, and those who will never see the light of day.

Saints and mystics who have pondered the Divine Infancy tell us that it was not all sweetness and light. From the first moment of His earthly existence, the Incarnate God began atoning for the sins of the world. The Child Jesus had to suffer from poverty, cold, and exile. According to the English Oratorian priest Father Frederick Faber in his book Bethlehem, Our Lord's awareness of the sins of the world caused Him a "spiritual agony," in addition to the foreknowledge of His coming Passion.

As He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, so, in the eyes of the Father and in the terrible realities of His own heart, He was the Crucified Jesus even from the days of Bethlehem. His sufferings exceeded all martyrdoms, even in each single hour of His infant life. (Father Faber)
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3 comments:

melanie said...

Beautiful!

Don Marco said...

Do you know Caryll Houselander's extraordinary little book, "The Passion of the Infant Christ"?

How providential that I came across this post today. I posted on the same subject earlier in the day.

I too so love the Infant Christ and was raised in a home where the Infant of Prague reigned from atop Mom's dresser.

Devotion to the Child Christ, like the Rosary, decapitates pride and, almost imperceptibly, instills purity and innocence.

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, Father, I had a copy of Caryll Houselander's book for some years. It was retitled by Sophia Press "Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross." Not sure why. Since I am constantly lending my books out, I now have no idea where it is! It is indeed an extraordinary book with some profound insights from a contemplative soul.

Yes, our Infant of Prague has seen us through many trials. He was a wedding gift from the Carmelites of Schenectady, NY (now moved to Rochester) and came with a complete wardrobe (made by a little Sicilian nun) with an outfit for every season of the liturgical year. It is a very special statue to us, in more ways than one.

I also love Saint Alphonsus Liguori's book on the Divine Infancy, especially the chapter of collected stories of miracles of the Child Jesus.

Father, I posted on your blog just now but not sure the comments took. So glad you are back online in time for tomorrow's Great Feast!