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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

Contemplation of Christ's Poverty

While the world wonders over power and politics, the Church turns her gaze to the poverty of Christ. Wealth and influence evoke desire and disappointment, but the vulnerability of God is the sure ground of a meaningful existence. To contemplate Christ born of Mary plunges one's whole being into this vulnerability. Conversely, when being in control and making a name for oneself are no longer confine our gaze, the hunger and thirst of the Christ Child nourishes the heart and quenches the spirit. So, the Church invites us to lower ourselves and enter into the silent stillness of Divine Love.

To enter such prayer, believe in His presence ... not as an idea, but a reality, an inexhaustible mystery entrusted to you in this very moment. Riches untold are found in this Divine poverty knocking on the door of your heart. Let Him in and He will let you in. Are you anxious about many things? Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you. Do you doubt that His mercy is offering you a second chance and a new beginning? Believe that He did not come to condemn but to save, and behold how He makes all things new. With the eyes of her who is made holy and immaculate, lift your eyes to the visible Image of the Invisible God who took on our frail humanity with the undaunted resolve to accompany us through every sorrow, even humiliation and death. With the mind of Mother Church, let our thoughts ponder this Word in swaddling clothes whose revelation of the Father begins and ends in a wordless cry of love. As members of His Body, let our imaginations be drawn to the Bread of Angels in that manger in Bethlehem for He is come to be the spiritual food of humanity. With the eagerness of Bride of Christ, let our ears listen for the silence of Creation's great joy in those bleating of sheep and mysterious anthems in the heavens. With the Heavenly Hosts before the throne, let our prayers rise like incense as we take in those strong earthy smells that the Lord first knew until our knees find ground to kneel on. As the privileged children of the People of God, let the affections of love in us be roused into action by the tears, smiles, dreams and songs of angels, shepherds, Joseph and Mary.

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