seeing humans being born and dying, loving and hating, happy and sad, flourishing and struggling, “so many people aimless, despairing, hateful and killing; so many undernourish-ed, sick and dying, so many struggling with life and blind to any meaning. With God I can hear people laughing and crying, some shouting and screaming, some praying, others cursing.”2 That is an accurate assessment of things today.
The Incarnation is the most exquisite relationship. Over 1500 years ago Pope St. Leo wrote that “divine nature and the nature of a servant were…united in one person.”4 The service of the Incarnation is twofold: first, to restore us, reconcile us to our true and original dignity as images of God; and second, to deepen our relationship with God and restore our relationship with each other.
- Pause in the love of the Trinity.
- Ask Mary to present you to her Son.
- In your words thank Jesus, our Divine Savior, for becoming human for you.
- Ask him to increase your confidence in his presence with you and deepen your felt knowledge of his presence.
- Close by saying slowly the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus gave us his prayer so that we may grow more confident that his union with us and us with him through his Incarnation will bring us to the glory of his Resurrection.
- Roman Missal, Fourth Sunday of Advent.
- This paraphrase of St. Ignatius belongs to James L. Fleming, S.J., Draw Me Into Your Friendship: The Spiritual Exercises: A Literal Translation & A Contemporary Reading. St. Louis: IJS, 1996, p. 91.
- Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, trans. & comm. George E. Ganss, S.J., St. Louis: IJS, 1992, p. 56 [at #102].
- Letter 31, which is excerpted in the Liturgy of the Hours on 17 December.
- The language is St. Paul’s. See 2Corinthians 5.16-21.