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 IV - Wednesday
The Heart of the Infant Jesus, Our Coming Prince
"And the Lord said to me: This gate shall be shut: it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it: because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it, and it shall be shut for the Prince." (Ezech. xliv. 2.) Response, 2nd Lesson at Matins.
1st Prelude. - Represent to yourself the vision of Ezechiel, and behold Mary, the closed gate through whom none but the Prince may enter.
2nd Prelude. - Pray that when Jesus enters into your heart, in the adorable Sacrament of His love, you may close its gate, and that none but the Prince may enter therein.
1st Point. - Consider the magnificence of the types which prefigure the advent of Jesus, and the glories of Mary. What more majestic, what more sublime, than this type of the Eastern gate, which the Prince alone might enter, and which was shut for all others! Well might the holy Fathers of the Church love to linger on the grand prophetic page. Mary opens the gate of her womb, Jesus comes forth, and it is closed for ever-closed for the Prince, for the sanctuary of the All Holy may not be defiled by mortal touch. Let us approach that golden gate; let us kneel before it. The Prince is within, still mystically hidden in its embraces; but the gate, the golden gate, is always accessible, and we may speak through it to the Prince. O Infant Prince, alas! that when the golden door opens, and Thou goest forth from the shelter of that temple, it will be to suffer, to die!
2nd Point. - But there is also a golden door by which Jesus enters into our hearts - a golden moment when our Infant Prince asks admittance. Shall we keep Him waiting? shall we refuse to admit Him? shall we make delays and excuses! We may have done so heretofore, but now we will do so no longer. O come, sweet Jesus, come! We will have one golden gate also, by which the Prince alone shall enter. If others must have places in our hearts, they must enter by side doors, which we shall watch carefully, and seldom open; but the gate, the golden entrance of our hearts, shall be open for the Prince alone. Oh, marvel of all marvels, that He should condescend to enter therein! Oh, grief of all griefs, that we should so neglect this royal guest, whom it should be our glory and our joy to entertain with the tenderest affection and the deepest reverence!
3rd Point. - Let us take Mary for our model in receiving Jesus, and in entertaining Jesus. He predestinated us before all eternity to be His own, even as He predestinated Mary to be His mother. He prepared graces for us, even as He prepared graces for her. And as He prepared for her that grace of graces, to which none other might aspire; as He made that golden gate for Himself as an entrance to the sanctuary of her body, in which He dwelt; so has He prepared the golden gate of the most holy Sacrament, that He may thereby enter into us, and abide corporally with us, while millions are denied this unspeakable favour. Have we ever considered what we owe to God for His providence in permitting us to be of the number of His children, into whom He enters, with whom He unites Himself in the adorable Sacrament? Have we ever made the thanksgiving we ought to make for this stupendous favour? Oh! let us try to realize what this favour is, and then we shall be more likely to keep the golden door closed for the Prince, to let none other even approach it; for what can be worthy of sharing our love with God Himself? what sacrifice can be too great to offer in thanksgiving for the honour of the Prince's presence?
Aspiration. - O sweet Infant Jesus, my Prince, enter into my heart, and close the door, that none else may enter therein.
Form your resolution, and place it in the Heart of the Infant Jesus. Examen of Meditation.
Return to the Third Meditation . . . Proceed to the Fifth Meditation