“.. I saw the Infant Jesus near my kneeler. He appeared to be about one year old, and He asked me to take Him in my arms. When I did take Him in my arms, He cuddled up close to my bosom and said, “It is good for Me to be close to your heart. … Because I want to teach you spiritual childhood. I want you to be very little, because when you are little, I carry you close to My Heart, just as you are holding Me close to your heart right now” (Diary, 1481).
I know that this may come as a bit of a shock, but I have some wonderful news: you have a Person living inside you. And it’s not just any person. Can you imagine God Himself becoming a human being and coming to live not just with you, but in you, in a very real way?
Recalling the Nativity story, the Blessed Virgin Mary tangibly experienced this reality when she housed Jesus within her womb. The God who manifested Himself with fire in the Old Testament chose to wrap Himself in human flesh, and dwell within the Tabernacle that He called Mother.
Because of her boundless humility and trust in God, Mother Mary is the most worthy human being to be granted this honor. And just as Eve’s disobedience has stained her children with Original Sin, Mary’s choice to obey God has positively affected each of her spiritual children. And so, we too have the terrifyingly beautiful honor of housing Jesus within our very bodies! Every time we receive the Most Holy Eucharist, we invite the entire Person of Jesus to dwell physically within us. This union is more complete than that of a husband of wife in their holy marital embrace. This moment is more intimate than that of a mother carrying her precious child in her womb, or nourishing her child with her breastmilk!
I’m sitting in actual frustration trying to put words to the one of the most imminent, unprecedented, personal, world-changing moments in history—that is, the moment when mortal human beings consume God Incarnate in the Eucharist. The more I reflect on the profoundness of this mystery, the more I am at a loss for words. Hopefully, the longer that Jesus dwells in me, the less I will know, the less I will say, and the less I will trust anyone but Him. The more that Jesus grows in me, the more childlike I will become, and the more I will joyfully obey God’s benevolent will!
I am entirely unqualified to teach theology. In fact, in this reflection I have said nothing that others before me haven’t articulated more effectively. And if I happen to stumble upon some useful piece of wisdom, it is because God reveals His glory through those who are slow and clumsy, like children. As my favourite author, Caryll Houselander, explains in her book The Reed of God, “even the presence of Christ does not do away with our own clumsiness, blindness, stupidity…if we realise that we are a little absurd…love will come more easily” (41-42). May God empty us of all pretention and pomp, and fill us little vessels with His love!
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