Not so long ago, the “enlightened” people of the time boasted that a new era was just beginning, an era in which there would be no more wars or conflicts. On the contrary, the brutality of facts has silenced them and not a day passes without talk of war or of noises of war.
Nearly two thousand years ago, Our Lord warned His disciples that a time would come in which these wars and threats of war would be man’s daily bread. In these troubled times, they would have to raise their heads and not yield to the anxiety that could easily overcome them. In this Christmas season, we raise our eyes to contemplate the star that guided the Magi on their way to the manger, and are filled with wonder at the radiant simplicity of this mystery.
The place chosen for the birth of the Savior, away from the vain noises and unsavory dealings of men, offers us an important lesson: God cannot incarnate Himself where covetousness and calculation reign. The soul must learn to turn into itself and offer to God its fundamental poverty without trying to deny or disguise it. God is only waiting for this offering to establish His reign in the soul.
In the manger, we find first Our Lady, recollected in the presence of God, in radiant adoration, placed at the center of the mystery of the divine love. She is the one who comes nearest to it because, never having refused anything to God, she belongs to Him completely. She is the first cradle, the true one, offering to God the homage that is due to Him, the homage of adoration and contemplation, the homage of a love that does not shy away from difficulties and that continues to say “Fiat!” even when the cross comes knocking at the gates of the soul. It is when the cross comes that man usually hides because his petty soul is not yet a crib devoted to the love of God.
Saint Joseph is present, witness of so many beautiful things, Protector of Our Lady and of the Child-God. He is the Father of the souls that come to the crib to drink at the source of grace and to flee a pitiless world where the devil holds them in slavery. Compelled by the revolutionary principles that abhor all that is a reminder of God and His Paternity, souls call to St. Joseph to lead them to God.