Following is a Christmas reflection by Bl. James Alberione (source unknown):
Whoever wishes may receive Jesus in the Eucharist every day, he who is the Son of Mary and the blessed fruit of her womb. In the soul sullied by sin, Jesus lies down as if in a new manger; and he affects a physical and spiritual union with us that is transforming and is permanent by its very nature.
Jesus’ mind, which is the true sun, enlightens our intelligence with the splendors of the faith, and it allows us to see everything and judge everything in the light of God.
We thus touch with our own hands the transitoriness of earthly goods, and the folly of worldly thinking. In turn, we savor the truths of the Gospel which are so contrary to our natural instincts. Even our memory and imagination will be affected because memory and imagination, when well regulated and sanctified, will be united with our other faculties to discipline and orient them towards God and divine things, turning toward his captivating beauty and his inexhaustible goodness, and towards the remembrance of the divine gifts received.
His will, which is so strong, constant and generous comes to correct our weakness, our inconstancy and our egoism, communicating to us his divine energy, and leading us to say with St. Paul, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Then it will seem that our efforts do not cost us, that temptations will find us unshaken, that perseverance in the good will not frighten us further, because we are no longer alone but we adhere to Christ like ivy to the oak tree, thus participating in his strength.
His heart, so aflame with love for God and people comes to enflame our heart which is so cold towards God and warm towards people; with the disciples of Emmaus, we say: “Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road…?” (Lk. 24:32) Under the action of this divine fire we experience an almost irresistible force towards the good, and a will that is attentive and decisive in doing everything, in suffering everything for God without refusing him anything.
Obviously, such a union is transforming.
1. Little by little our thoughts, our ideas, our convictions and our judgments will change. Instead of judging things according to the criteria of this world, we will make our own the very thoughts and judgments of Jesus; we will lovingly embrace the evangelical truths and we will steadfastly ask ourselves: What would Jesus do if he were in my place?
2. The same is true of our desires and affections, persuaded by the fact that the world and our natural ego have erred, and that only Jesus, eternal wisdom, is the truth, we will no longer desire anything other than what he desires: the glory of God, our salvation and the salvation of our brothers and sisters. We will want nothing but what he desires, “Let your will be done, not mine” (Lk. 22:42). Even when this will is hard for us, we will accept it from the bottom of our heart, certain that it points only to our spiritual good and the good of our neighbor.
3. Our heart will slowly become free of its more or less conscious egoism, of its natural and sensitive affections, in order to love God eternally, generously, passionately and to love people in God. We will no longer love divine consolations, as sweet as these are, but we will love God himself. We will no longer look for the pleasure of finding ourselves with those we love, but we will look to the good that we can do to these people. We will live a more intense life and above all a more supernatural and divine life than in the past: it is no longer I, the old man who lives, thinks and acts, it is Jesus himself and his spirit who lives in us and vivifies our spirit: “it is no longer I, but Christ living in me” (Gal. 2:20).
For such fruits to happen, our reception of the Eucharist must be always more total: a union of mind, of hart and of will.
The act of preparation will orient the mind towards Jesus Truth, the sentiments towards Jesus Life, and the will towards Jesus Way.
The act of thanksgiving will establish and seal the union of our mind, heart, and will with the thoughts, sentiments and desires of Jesus.
This is the fulfillment of the first and greatest precept: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mt. 22:37).
Such love for God carries its fruit, which is love of neighbor expressed in the apostolate and in that charity described by St. Paul, “You must love your neighbor as yourself” (Mk. 12:31).
Each day, according to the spirit of the Church, we can celebrate a new Christmas.
There is the eternal birth of the divine Son of the Father, and there is the temporal birth of the Son of God by the Virgin Mary; there is the real and mystical birth of Jesus Christ in the reception of the Eucharist. The Mass, especially if completed by the reception of the Eucharist, constitutes the center, joy, light and strength of our day.
Nobility of Life
Day by day, our participation in the life of God and of Jesus Christ becomes always more abundant: God lives in us and we in him. He lives in us, in a real way, in the union of his nature and in the Trinity of the Three Persons. And this God acts to the maximum degree, producing in us a supernatural organism that perfects our natural organism. He permits us to live a life, not as his own, but similar to his own, a godly life. He acts in our entire being and in all its faculties. Through a divine impulse, he makes us his cooperators, filling our days with merits: “we in him and he in us.”
Jesus Christ lives in us, not only as God, but also as the God-Man. He is the head of the Mystical Body, and we are the members; from him we receive movement and life.
With his prayers and merits, he imparts the Spirit to work in us as the Spirit had worked in him.
We live in Jesus because we are incorporated in him: he imprints his new life in us and makes it bear fruit. This is the new life that produces the grafting of a good olive onto a wild olive plant. And Mary participates at our being generated in Christ, because she became our Mother. Through the mystical body, we in turn participate in all the good of the saints in heaven and on earth. This is the dogma of the communion of saints. And this is eternal life.
“…Grant, O God, that we may participate in the divinity of him who deigned to participate in our humanity, Jesus Christ your Son and our Lord.”
Father James Alberione
“Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men of good will” (cf. Lk. 2:14).
trans: Sr Germana Santos