February 09, 2019

πŸ•‚Devotions for the Feast of the Holy Childhood of Our Divine Lord

The indicated portions are recited throughout the entire month of February.

Instruction and Reflection on the Holy Childhood of Jesus

To be read on the Feast and every Sunday throughout February

Jesus, having been found by His Parents in the Temple, answered their loving concern with the simple words: "Did you not know that I must be about the work of My Father?" Yet, Jesus then "went down to Nazareth and was subject to them." Rather than spending the years of His Childhood in manifesting His Divine Power, He preferred to teach mankind, by His own example, the sublime virtues of humility, obedience, simplicity, and hiddenness, which so endear us to the Eternal Father. Later He said: "Unless you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." This sublime lesson is reflected in the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, as she made the exclusive choice of three uneducated shepherd children, entrusting to them the most important message of the twentieth century. As we meditate upon the profound humility of the Son of God-made-Man in His blessed Childhood, let us also be resolved to conduct ourselves with the simplicity, faith, and humility of a child as we strive to "be about the work of our Father" in fervently living the teachings of Our Divine Lord, and in obeying our Holy Mother the Church, for "of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us... full of grace and of truth." (John 1:14)

"The shepherds went with haste, and they found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger."(Luke 2:16)

"When His parents had brought in the Child Jesus... Simeon also received Him into his arms and blessed God." (Luke 2:28)

"And when they had fulfilled all things as prescribed in the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth." (Luke 2:39)

"Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, though He was by nature God, did not consider being equal to God a thing to be clung to, but emptied Himself, taking the nature of a slave and being made like unto men." (Phil. 2:5-7)

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father...

Daily Hymn: "O Lux Beata Coelitum" -- Alternate with "Jesus Unto Thee I Flee"

O Highest Hope of mortals, Blessed Light of saints above,
O Jesus, on whose Boyhood home smiled with kindly love.

And thou who gently nursed Him, O Mary, highly graced,
Amidst His peaceful slumber, whose arms thy God embraced.

And thou of all men chosen to guard the Virgin's fame,
To whom God's Son refused not a father's gracious name.

Born for the nations' healing, of Jesse's lineage high,
Behold the suppliants kneeling, O hear the sinners' cry!

The sun, returned to evening dusks all the twilight air:
We, lingering here before Thee, pour out our heartfelt prayer.

Thy home was as a garden made glad with fairest flowers;
May life thus blossom sweetly in every home of ours.

Jesus, to Thee be glory, the Maiden-Mother's Son,
With Father and with Holy Ghost, while endless ages run. Amen.

V. Enlighten us, O Lord, by the example of Thy Holy Family;
R. And guide us in the way of peace.

Reflection to be read on the Feast, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays throughout February

When Jesus was twelve years old, He accompanied them for the first time. When they were returning, the Boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem and His Parents did not know it. And not finding Him, they returned to Jerusalem in search of Him. After three days they found Jesus in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. The Mother of Jesus said to Him, 'Son, why hast Thou done so to us? Behold, Thy Father and I have been seeking Thee sorrowing.' And Jesus said to her, 'How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about the work of My Father?' And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age, and grace, before God and men." (Luke 2)

"O man, learn to obey. O thou who art of earth, learn to be subject. Thou who art dust, learn to submit. The Evangelist, speaking of your Creator, says, 'And He was subject to them'; without doubt, to Mary and to Joseph. Blush for shame, O proud man of ashes. God humbles Himself, and do you exalt yourself? God subjects Himself to men, and do you set yourself above your Creator? . . . O man, if you do not think it below your dignity to imitate the example of men, certainly it will not be unworthy of you to follow the example of your Creator. If you perhaps cannot follow Him wherever He goes, endeavor at least to follow Him in the obedience in which He came down to you." (St. Bernard)

"Just as by the disobedience of one man the many were constituted sinners, so also by the obedience of the One, the many will be constituted just." (Rom. 5:19)

Prayer in Honor of the Holy Childhood of Our Divine Lord
Daily throughout February, the Month of the Holy Childhood

O Divine Infant, Who, after the wonders of Thy Birth in Bethlehem, wishing to extend to the whole world Thine infinite mercy, didst call the Three Holy Kings by heavenly inspiration to Thy crib, which was thus converted into a throne of royal grandeur, and didst graciously receive those holy men, who were obedient to the Divine call and hastened to Thy feet, acknowledging Thee as the Prince of Peace, the Redeemer of mankind, and the very Son of God; ah, renew in us the proofs of Thy goodness and almighty power; enlighten our minds, strengthen our wills, and inflame our hearts to know Thee, to serve Thee, and to love Thee in this life, meriting thus to enjoy Thee eternally in the life to come. Amen.

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