Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Sufferings of the Infant Jesus

Anyone who has ever visited our house knows that we have a special devotion to the Child 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.

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)


Anonymous said...

If our awareness of conditions in this world cause us pain how much more it must be for Him.

J.K. Baltzersen said...


Regarding poverty, have you checked out Lew Rockwell on the matter?

elena maria vidal said...

Great article, Mr. Baltzersen, and very true! St. Peter Julian Eymard also discusses in his book on St. Joseph how St. Joseph was the legal heir of the royal house of David, in spite of his reduced circumstances. Also, since St. Joseph worked as a joiner, the Holy Family were most likely not destitute all of their lives, although travel and exile included many deprivations no doubt, such as having to take refuge in a stable.

Forward Boldly said...

It may have been Blessed
Anne Catherine Emmerich (can't remember) who said Jesus also suffered greatly in the womb.