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 X - Tuesday
The Heart of the Infant Jesus Sending a Messenger to Prepare His Way
"The voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the wilderness the paths of our God." (Is. xl. 3.) Ant. at Mag.
1st Prelude. - Represent to yourself the great Prophet announcing the coming of Jesus.
2nd Prelude. - Pray that you may profit by all the messages of grace which Jesus sends you.
1st Point. - Consider the exceeding love of Jesus in sending a messenger to prepare His way. When earthly monarchs undertake a journey to a distant part of their dominions, they send messengers before them. These messengers are charged to provide for all their comforts, to remove every obstacle to their advancement, to warn the people of their approach, that they may conceal all that would prove offensive to royal eyes, to banish all semblance of sorrow, to command public rejoicings. But our sweet Infant Jesus has no such purpose in sending messengers before His face. Oh, no. His messenger is not charged to see to His comforts, for our coming King, our sweet Infant Jesus, has renounced all comforts. His messenger is not commanded to put out of sight such objects of sorrow and distress as would prove an annoyance to an earthly monarch. No; the messengers of our sweet Jesus were desired to assemble the unhappy and the miserable, to make the most unhappy and the most miserable the most welcome; for our Infant Prince is content to suffer all manner of afflictions Himself, if He can only console one of the poorest of His subjects.
2nd Point. - Consider the messengers whom the Infant King employs. Before His first coming He sends the Baptist; but Jesus is always sending messengers before His face, for He is always coming to His people with some new grace, some new mercy, some new kindness. How many messengers has He sent you this year, and how did you receive His messengers? When He came, was the way prepared? He sent you a messenger of warning, by the flight of time, at the close of last year; a messenger of recollection, by a short retreat; a messenger of remembrance of His passion, in Lent; a messenger of remembrance of His love, at Easter. He sent you, perhaps, messengers to say earth was not your home, by sickness and suffering, by kind trials, by temptations, by wise and loving admonitions. He sent you messengers of daily graces, which, perhaps, you were too much occupied with other things to notice, or if you noticed them, you have forgotten them. Oh, if we only profited by all the messengers Jesus sends us, how different our lives would be!
3rd Point. - The voice cries in the desert. Earth is a desert to Jesus, because His Father is not loved and honoured there; and yet we try to make a home of the desert, and marvel then we cannot make ourselves comfortable in it. The voice cries in the desert. Jesus is often obliged to make a desert for us, because we will not listen to His voice, or the voice of His messengers, in the crowded city. When sweet Jesus wants a soul all to Himself, and purposes to do great things in her, He leads her into the very depths of the wilderness. He takes from her all she loves; He makes earth utterly desolate; and He leaves her for a little while to know and feel the bitterness and anguish of this desolation; and then, O then, He comes to her Himself into the wilderness, and the desert rejoices and blossoms like the rose, and the rivers of waters break forth, and the soul, suspended between heaven and earth, lies upon the cross with Jesus, and lives only to love or to suffer, and suffering manifest is here only joy, and love is her reward.
Aspiration. - Sweet Infant Jesus, make me faithful to the calls of Thy messengers.
Form your resolution, and place it in the Heart of the Infant Jesus. Examen of Meditation.
Return to the Ninth Meditation. . . Proceed to the Eleventh Meditation