from the annals of history unto our current day
Meditations for Advent and Easter
by the author of "Meditations for Lent," "St. Francis and the Franciscans," "The Life and Revelations of S. Gertrude," Etc. Etc.
Meditation III - Tuesday
The Heart of the Infant Jesus, Our Coming Lawgiver
"He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall come forth from Sion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Is. ii. 3.) 1st Lesson at Matins.
1st Prelude. - Represent to yourself the Infant Jesus as your lawgiver.
2nd Prelude. - Pray earnestly that you may have grace to obey all His precepts.
1st Point. - Consider the office and authority of a lawgiver. It implies a power to command, and a power to enforce the execution of commands. Our Infant Jesus comes now to fulfil the former of these functions; He will come a second time to compel the latter. Jesus comes now to give us laws, to explain them, and to exemplify in His own person how we should practise them. He tells us to be meek and lowly of heart; He explains to us the nature of this meekness and lowliness, and He practises the lesson He teaches, so that we can have no excuse if we refuse to obey the law. We cannot complain that we do not understand what has been fully explained; we cannot complain that we are not able to do what another has done. And thus has our dear Infant Jesus explained and practised every precept which He has given. What excuse, then, can we find for disobedience?
2nd Point. - "He will teach us His ways." We must not follow our own ways any longer. The ways of the Infant Jesus may be difficult to learn at first, but let us remember they are the ways of a God. Oh! let us cry out to Him with our whole hearts, "Teach me Thy ways." His ways are not like our ways. Our ways are the ways of ignorance, the ways of sin, the ways of short-sighted mortals; the ways of the Infant Jesus are the ways of eternal wisdom, the ways of perfect holiness, the ways of an omniscient God. Let us weep before Him that we have so long followed our own ways, that we have been so fearfully bent on them, to our own destruction, had not His mercy saved us. But we must also "walk in His paths." All that He teaches us to do, He has already practised. The lawgivers of this world may coldly and sternly give laws which they never intend to keep themselves; they may write their laws in blood, in the blood of those whom they drive to sin and desperation by cruel enactments - but it is not so with Jesus. He is the first, the only lawgiver who keeps His own precepts before He asks others to keep them; and if His laws were written in blood, it is His own Blood, His own most precious Blood, which He has shed even while yet an Infant, to atone for the transgressions which He knew we would commit against the blessed, holy, peaceful laws He came to enact. Was there ever a lawgiver who died to atone for the sins which would be committed against His laws, who suffered death because justice must have its due, and preferred to suffer instead of the guilty?
3rd Point. - O my Saviour, my sweet Infant Jesus, teach me. I will try to listen meekly, to obey faithfully. My sweet little Lawgiver, I cannot bear to think that Thou shouldst suffer because I will sin - because I will to sin. Oh, take my will from me - my wicked will - since it causes Thee so much suffering! I give Thee up my will: oh, give me Thine in exchange! I will listen for Thy lowest whisper. I will hear and obey Thy voice in the duties of my state, in the requirements of my holy Rule, in the slightest intimation of the wish of my Superior. O my sweet Infant Lawgiver, I will be so anxious to obey Thee, that I will consider even the slightest intimation of Thy will as a treasure, above all when it contradicts my own; and I will seek for Thy footsteps, and walk in Thy paths, the paths of lowly, unasking obedience, the paths which lead to Paradise, whither Thou wilt bring me, O my Infant Love; where there will be no law but love, and where love will never be grieved or disobeyed.
Aspiration. - Sweet Infant Jesus, rule me and guide me for ever.
Form your resolution, and place it in the Heart of the Infant Jesus. Examen of Meditation.
Return to the Second Meditation . . . Proceed to the Fourth Meditation