View all Novenas | March 1, 2022
Meditation 6: A Child is Born Unto Us
A Meditation Novena in the Footsteps of St. Thérèse
written by Fr. Todd Arsenault, LC
A Child is Born Unto Us
The birth of a child brings great joy! It is a celebration of love and life! The beauty of a child coming into the world should invoke in us a celebratory or festive spirit. Life is a gift; a powerful gift! We need to cherish all stages of life! We have lost the sense of the sanctity of life. We live in a near godless society of radical individualism that reduces things to the whims of the individual at the expense of others and to the detriment of both the common good and natural law. We have much to pray for!
In the time of Jesus, the mighty Roman Empire ruled as a totalitarian regime, and life was not always regarded with kindness. There was no festive celebration at Jesus’ arrival! In fact, those who came to acknowledge him as Messiah and Savior were the poor and the foreigners! When King Herod heard of the new king of the Jews, he felt threatened and tried to eliminate him. The Lord came in the most hidden way: a little innocent baby! All he had were Mary and Joseph!
Committed and convinced Christian believers savor Christ’s coming as a helpless infant because it teaches us a valuable lesson about how Christ longs to be born in the hearts of men and women—not imposed! This is fundamental because Christ came to show us a way to the Father that demands faith in him, a radical transformation of life in trust and surrender, and an openness to experiencing his love and forgiveness. What better way than as an infant to call the first believers to himself and truly trust in God’s plan of salvation?
St. Thérèse of Lisieux writing about her reception of the veil which took place 16 days after her profession of vows admitted to the following emotions: “(T)he day was filled with tears. Papa was not there to bless his Queen; Father Pichon was in Canada; the Bishop, who was supposed to come and dine with Uncle, did not come at all since he was sick. In a word, everything was sadness and bitterness. And still peace, always peace, reigned at the bottom of the chalice. That day, too, Jesus permitted that I was unable to hold back my tears and these were misunderstood.”
Scripture passage for reflection: Luke 9: 46-48 (greatest in the Kingdom)
Christ teaches us a valuable lesson about the type of disposition of heart we are to have to enter his Kingdom: a humble servant’s heart! When I read this passage from St. Luke and reflect on Jesus’ humble birth, what does it invoke within me? What positive and negative emotions do I experience? How does this help me better understand Christ, his plan for humanity, and his mysterious mission of salvation?
St. Thérèse writes that though she suffered because of important people in her life being absent from her ceremony, she still had interior peace. Can I relate? Why or why not? Does this experience of Thérèse help me to better understand my own journey of faith?
When I pray on these points, how do I think the Lord is inviting me to deepen my faith in him regarding the type of humble, servile, and surrendered heart he is looking for in his followers so that I don’t panic, lose peace or falter in the Christian life? How is he helping me by the gift of a deeper faith to still see him present in my life especially when he seems very hidden?
Colloquy: Jesus, I am so thankful for the gift of faith that allows me to see your presence even though at times it is very hidden because of your great humility. Teach me to put aside my rationalism, desire to control, and my pride to humbly see with eyes of profound faith! Amen.