Chasing the Lamb
- WE LEARN TO PRAY
Spiritual detention before the crib of “P. Pio Bruno Lanteri” Founder of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary (Free adaptation in modern language of Spi, 2018)
Approach with living faith the mystery of the manger where the Son of God is born, come to save you. Approach with faith, with simple faith as a child and with a great love for Jesus who is born for you and stop there in the cave, enter the cave of Bethlehem with faith and love invoking the help of the Holy Spirit who will introduce you to the mystery of crib, let him taste you intimately and give you a new experience of Jesus’ love for you. Courage! Learn to stay with Jesus in the Bethlehem cave!
After invoking in your heart the presence of the Holy Spirit, activate your faith to the fullest and revive your love for Jesus and entertain yourself in the cave with Him and, first of all:
• Observe the circumstances in which Jesus wanted to be born:
with the Mother on the road, traveling, without those comforts that even poor people have in their own
in the cold and in the middle of the night …
welcomed by a cave because no one wanted it to be born in their own home …
• Observe the cave that served as a stable: look at the place, placed next to the walls of that cave that the King of Kings chose as his palace … look at the manger … smell the smell of hay … the smell of animals …
Stop kissing the cave … and think about how He, the Son of God, wanted to choose for himself everything that was the poorest, the most humble, the simplest and compare how much He chose with what you choose every day for yourself …
• Observe the people in the cave with great affection and love:
There is Jesus, look at Him as he lets himself be wrapped in swaddling clothes by his Mother and how he lets himself be deposed in the manger What a great mystery of infinite love!
“A body you gave me … and then I said: Here I come to do your will” “The Father loved men so much to give his Son … to deliver his Son” … Here, Mary is the medium of this delivery: in that Child lying on the manger there is all the love of the Father for humanity, he could not have greater love than this: to give us his Son … Let us pause to look at Baby Jesus while he is laid by Maria on the manger wrapped in swaddling clothes … we also bind Jesus together with Mary …, we wrap Him in our love and place Him on the manger …
In Bethlehem everything already speaks of the Cenacle: He is the living Bread descended from heaven, born in Bethlehem – “the house of bread” – and is placed on a manger: it is the first ciborium, the first monstrance, the first ciborium where it is laid Jesus the Eucharist … In Bethlehem everything already speaks of Golgotha: Extreme poverty …, the refusal to accept Him …, the bands! Twice Mary will bind her Son: in Bethlehem-me, before laying him on the manger and on Golgotha, before laying him in the half-bowl! That little body that we now contemplate smiling before long we will see him tortured and tortured, sputtered, scorned and crowned with thorns, crucified and dead … and all this for you!
There is Maria …, look at her while she looks at him, while she caresses him, while she holds him tight and kisses him … look at her while she gives him milk … look at her while she wraps him and puts him in the manger … stop to look at her with love, look at her while she look there in the manger with the little arms outstretched, eager to be picked up by everyone …
There is Joseph … look at him while He looks at Him … he looks at the carpenter of Nazareth who with his calloused hands picks up the Son of God who has also become his … look at him while he looks at Mary and the Child … he, poor man, will have to defend and to guard the Son of God and his Mother …
There are all the Angels, where there is the King there is always his court … look at them as they love Him … as they love Him … as they serve Him … as they delight in looking at their great God who made Himself small … look their wonder … their joy … their love …
there are the Three Divine Persons, particularly they live in the little heart of that Bambinello … there is the Father: the Father is always with Him … the Father is in Him and He is in the Father … there is the Son, the Word Splendor of the Father , is there with all the fullness of his divinity, that little body is his body: he incarnated for you … since as God could not die, he wanted to assume your own human nature in order to die for you … because you understood to what extent you are loved by God, he wanted to strip himself of everything he had for you, he stripped himself of his divinity and made an exchange with your humanity: he took your humanity and gave you his divinity: admirable exchange! Folly of God’s love for you! … There is the Holy Spirit … it is He who made the exchange possible … it is He who invites us to exchange!
Stop and think: what figure do you do there among all these characters?
Try not to be a jarring presence … adequate with feelings of humility, profound adoration of the mystery, faith and great love for Jesus who extends his hands to you to be taken in his arms …
And now stop … stop and …
Listen carefully to what is said in the barn: everyone is talking!
Mary and Joseph speak: try to think what feelings Mary and Joseph manifest to Jesus, to the Father of Heaven, to the Holy Spirit … stop and listen to what they say to you …
The Angels speak: they speak to Jesus and present themselves to Him, competing to show Him praise, reverent love, service … they talk to Mary, their Queen and they venerate her … they talk to Joseph and congratulate him because the Father of Heaven he chose to entrust his only Son to him … they speak to the Holy Trinity and thank us for our love that brings us … They speak to us … and the Cherubs come to show us the perfections and the greatness of the divinity of Jesus, and they teach us to sink into our nothingness, to admire Him, to adore Him … the Seraphim come and discover the abysses of goodness in Jesus, the excesses of love towards us, and suggest us to liquefy ourselves in love for Him, to get rid of us, to consume ourselves in gratitude for so much love … Thrones, Dominations, Virtues, Principalities, Powers come and warn us that He is the son of a great King who will come to judge the living and the dead, that we must love Him, respect Him, and give Him our life … The archangels and angels come and invite us to obey Jesus with joy, readiness and faithfulness …
The Divine People speak: The eternal Father speaks to his Son and is pleased in him as of his perfect image, he loves him infinitely and as himself, and tells him: My son, I have generated you today! … The eternal speaks Father to Mary and to her, she is pleased with all her creatures, she loves her as her daughter … She speaks to Joseph, she is her vicar, she hands him over to her son and mother … she speaks to her angels and is pleased to see them worshiping Jesus for God, to venerate Mary for His Mother and their Queen, and in seeing them solicitous cooperators of Jesus for the great work of the redemption of the human race … The eternal Father speaks to you, and tells you that He is His firstborn Son equal to himself, who gives it to you, and he sacrifices you to redeem you from death, from the devil, from hell, and invites you to listen to him and imitate him …
The Holy Spirit speaks and is pleased with Jesus about the great work of His love; he is pleased with Mary his bride; he is pleased with Joseph worthy husband of Mary and guardian of Jesus; he is pleased with the angels who concur with him and with Jesus to save mankind. Speak to you and would like to take possession of your heart to present it to Jesus …
Jesus speaks and speaks to the eternal Father, worships Him, offers Himself a victim for you and submits to His every divine will, and tells Him that in the book it is written that He must do His will … He speaks to the Holy Spirit and manifests His infinite love with which He corresponds, and prepares to be consumed to ignite the fire of his divine love in all hearts … He speaks to Mary and recognizes her as Mother, he manifests His affectionate and obedient heart … He speaks to Joseph, He loves him and he submits himself to His custody … He finally speaks to you, that is, he speaks for Him the figure of a child he took, His tears speak, His looks that start from the heart, speak the stable, the manger, speak the bands, the straw, everything he asks you for love and correspondence.
Listen on your knees to what it tells you … respond with your love and your affection, repent bitterly of not having had so far a great attention towards this mystery of love … you cry your coldness … your ingratitude towards Jesus and towards so much love … and ask for the grace to love Him seriously and more, always and above all things …
Thanks and ask for thanks for everyone
Thank all those you met in the cave:
The eternal Father for having given you his Son, and with him all good. The Holy Spirit for having cooperated in such a great mystery of love … The divine Word for having been so much lowered for you, to free you from sin, from the devil, from eternal death.
The Blessed Virgin Mary for having accepted to be the Mother of God and to have given birth to your firstborn brother, and for this reason to become your mother too …
Saint Joseph for having served and cared for the Child Jesus in his birth and throughout his childhood, as well as Mary his beloved Bride.
The angels because they came to do honor to Jesus, and supplied with their love the non-love of men … because they sang the Gloria and led the shepherds to the hut.
Get closer to the crib and ask Jesus through the intercession of Mary, thank you for all: for you and for all, the forgiveness of sins, a continuous advancement in virtue and holiness. Expose to him all the spiritual and material needs of humanity, especially the one most afflicted by poverty, war, suffering … ask for graces for your relatives … for your friends … for their spiritual and material needs … for the Church … for the conversion of poor sinners … for the unity of all Christians … for the Jews … for the Muslims … for the pagans of our time … so that everyone may recognize Him as their God, King and Lord … so that the great Saints may multiply … so that he may grant to his ministers great love and great zeal to bring many souls to Jesus … ask Jesus to attract many young people to him … ask for graces for the holy souls in Purgatory, especially your relatives and departed friends, so that the child Jesus introduces them all into Heaven … ask for great graces for all and do not leave the crib without taking you away with you, in mind and heart, Jesus!
I. Observe the circumstances in which Jesus was born.
II. Observe the stable and all that is prepared for Jesus.
III. Affectionately gaze at the people there.
IV. Listen carefully to what everyone says.
V. Thank all those characters we have found.
YOU. Ask for thanks to the Child Jesus.
VII. Offer you our good resolutions
Maria Valtorta – The birth of Jesus Christ:
I still see the inside of this poor stony refuge where they found asylum, gathered in the lot of animals, Maria and Giuseppe.
The little fire snoozes with his guardian. Maria slowly raises her head from her bed and looks. He sees that Joseph has his head tilted on his chest as if he were thinking, and he thinks that tiredness overpowers his good will to remain awake. He smiles of a good smile and, making less noise than a butterfly can do that rests on a rose, he sits down and kneels sitting. Pray with a blissful smile on your face. He prays with open arms, not exactly a cross, but almost, palms sometimes up and forward, nor does he ever seem tired of that painful pose. Then he prostrates himself with his face against the hay in an even more intense prayer. Long prayer.
Joseph shakes himself. He sees the fire almost dead and the stable almost dark. He throws a handful of fine heather and the flame resounds; it joins larger branches, and then even bigger ones, because the cold must be pungent. The cold of the winter night and serene that penetrates from all parts of that ruin. Poor Giuseppe, as he is at the door – let us also call the opening his tent cloak is used for – must be frozen. Put your hands on the flame, take off your sandals and put your feet up. It heats up. When the fire is well awake and his light is sure, he turns. He sees nothing, not even that whiteness of the veil of Mary that first put a clear line on the dark hay. He stands and slowly approaches the bed.
Don’t you sleep, Maria? He asks. He asks for it three times, until she collects and replies: «Please. »
«Do you need anything? »
«No, Giuseppe. »
“Try to get some sleep. To rest at least. “I’ll try. But praying does not tire me. “Goodbye, Maria. »
«Goodbye, Giuseppe. »
Maria resumes her pose. Joseph, in order not to give in to sleep anymore, kneels by the fire and prays. Pray with your hands on your face. He raises them from time to time to feed the fire and then returns to his fervent prayer. The less the noise of crackling wood and that of the donkey that from time to time slams a hoof on the ground, nothing is heard.
A little moon creeps in from a crack in the ceiling and looks like a disembodied silver blade looking for Maria. It stretches, as the moon gets higher in the sky, and finally reaches it. Here it is on the head of the person praying. He freaks her out with candor.
Mary raises her head like a heavenly call and stands up again on her knees. Oh! how beautiful it is here! She raises her head that seems to shine in the white light of the moon, and a non-human smile transfigures her. That sees? What do you hear? What evidence? Only you could say how much you saw, heard and felt in the brilliant hour of your Maternity. I only see that around you the light grows, grows, grows. It seems to come down from Heaven, it seems to emanate from the poor things around it, it seems above all that it emanates from you.
His robe, dark blue, now looks like a mild celestial myosotis, and his hands and face seem to be blue like those of a man put under the fire of an immense pale sapphire. This color, which reminds me, although more tenuous, what I see in the visions of the holy Paradise and also what I saw in the vision of the coming of the Magi, spreads more and more about things, dresses them, purifies them, makes them splendid.
The light is released more and more from the body of Mary, it absorbs that of the moon, it seems that she attracts in herself that which can come from the sky. Now she is the Confessor of the Light. The one that must give this Light to the world. And this beatific, uncontrollable, immeasurable, eternal, divine Light that is about to be given, announces itself “with a dawn, a diana, a chorus of atoms of light that grow, grow like a tide, that rise, rise like incense , which descend like a flood, which stretch like a veil …
The vault, full of cracks, cobwebs, protruding rubble that hang in the balance for a miracle of static, black, smoky, repellent, looks like the vault of a royal hall. Each stone is a block of silver, each crack a flicker of opal, each spider web a precious canopy context of silver and diamonds. A large green lizard, hibernating between two boulders, looks like an emerald necklace forgotten by a queen; and a bunch of hibernating bats, a precious onyx light. The hay that hangs from the highest manger is no longer grass: they are strands and strands of pure silver that flicker in the air with the grace of a dissolved crown.
In his dark wood, the subjected manger is a block of burnished silver. The walls are covered with a brocade in which the whiteness of silk disappears under the pearly embroidery of the relief, and the ground … which is now the ground? It is a crystal lit by a white light. The protrusions look like roses of light cast by homage to the ground; and the holes, precious cups from which aromas and fragrances must rise.
And the light grows more and more. It is untenable a the eye. In it disappears, as absorbed by a veil of incandescence, the Virgin … and the Mother emerges.
Yes. When the light returns to be sustainable in my view, I see Mary with her newborn Son on her arms. A small Child, rosy and plump, who gropes and paws with his hands as big as a rose bud and with the little feet that would be in the hollow of a rose heart; who wanders with a tremulous little voice, just like a newborn lamb, opening the little mouth that looks like a wild strawberry and showing the flickering tongue against the rosy palate; that moves the little head so blond by an almost naked opinion of hair, a round head that the Mama supports in the curve of one of her hands, while she looks at her Child and worships him crying and laughing together and bends to kiss him not on the innocent head but on the center of the chest, where below is the little heart that beats, beats for us … where the Wound will be one day. He gives it to him in advance, that wound, his Mama, with his immaculate kiss.
The ox, awakened by the light, rises with a great noise of hooves and bellow, and the donkey turns its head and brays. It is the light that shakes them, but I love to think that they wanted to greet their Creator, for them and for all the animals.
Even Giuseppe, who, almost kidnapped, prayed so intensely to be isolated gives his surroundings, shakes, and from his fingers close to his face he sees the strange light seep through. Take your hands off your face, lift your head, turn around. The standing bull hides Maria. But she calls: “Giuseppe, come.”
‘Giuseppe rushes. And when he sees he stops, struck by reverence, and is about to fall to his knees where he is. But Mary insists: “Come, Joseph” and points his left hand on the hay and, holding the Infant with his right hand close to his heart, gets up and goes to Joseph who walks awkwardly, for the contrast between the desire to go and the fear of being irreverent.
At the foot of the litter the two spouses meet and look at each other with a blessed cry.
“Come, let us offer the Father Jesus,” says Mary.
And while Joseph kneels, Ella, standing upright between two trunks supporting the vault, raises her Creature in her arms and says: «Here I am. For Him, O God, I tell you this word. Here I am doing your will. And with Him I, Mary, and Joseph, my husband. Here are your servants, Lord. May your will always be done by us, in every hour and in every event, for your glory and for your love. »Then Mary bends over and says:« Take it, Joseph »and offer the Infante.
” I? To me? Oh, no! I’m not worthy! »Giuseppe is even astonished, annihilated at the idea of having to touch God.
But Maria insists smiling: “You are worthy of it. No one is more than you, and for this reason the Most High has chosen you. Take it, Giuseppe, and keep it while I look for clothes. »
Joseph, red as a purple, extends his arms and takes the batufolino of flesh that screams of cold and when he has it in his arms does not persist in the intention to keep it away from himself out of respect, and if he holds it close to his heart, saying with a big burst of tears.
“Oh! Lord! My God! »And he bends to kiss the feet and feels them cold, and then he sits on the ground and picks it up in his lap and with his brown robe and with his hands tries to cover it, warm it, defend it from the sizza of the night. He would like to go to the fire, but there is that current of air that enters through the door. Better stay here. Better, on the contrary, to go between the two animals that shield the air and send heat. And he goes between the ox and the donkey and stands with his back to the door, bent over the Newborn to make of his chest a niche, whose side walls are a gray head with long ears, and a large white muzzle with a smoking nose and wet good eye.
Maria opened the bonnet and took out linens and bands. She went to the fire and warmed them up. Here she goes to Giuseppe and wraps the Child in the warmed canvas and then in her veil to repair his little head. “Where do we put it now? He asks.
Giuseppe looks around, thinks … “Wait,” he says. “Let’s push the two animals and their hay further and pull down that hay up there and put it in here. The wood of the shore will shelter him from the air, the hay will make him a pillow and the ox with his breath will warm him a little. Better the ox. It is more patient and quiet. »And he gets busy, while Maria loses her Baby tightening it to his heart and holding his’ cheek on his head to give him warmth.
Joseph brightens the fire, without saving, to make a beautiful flame and warms the hay and as he dries it, so that it does not cool, he puts it in his bosom. Then, when he has collected so much as to make a mattress for the Infante, he goes to the manger and arranges it to be like a cunella. “It’s ready,” he says. “Now we need a blanket, because the hay stings, and to cover it …”
“Take my cloak,” says Maria.
“You’ll get cold. »
“Oh! does nothing! The blanket is too rough. The coat is soft and warm. I’m not cold at all. But that He no longer suffers! »
Giuseppe takes the wide cloak of soft, dark blue wool and accommodates it in double on the hay, with a flap that hangs out of the crib. The Savior’s first bed is ready.
And the Mother, with her gentle undulating step, brings it to you and places it there and covers it with the edge of the mantle and leads it also around the naked tapino that sinks in the hay, barely sheltered from it by the thin veil of Mary. Only the little face as big as a man’s fist remains uncovered, and the Two, bent over the crib, watch him blessed to sleep his first sleep, because the warmth of the bands and hay has calmed the tears and reconciled sleep to the sweet Jesus.
Track taken from cap. 29, vol I, “The Gospel as it was revealed to me” by Maria Valtorta, C.E.V., Isola del Liri, 2000.
School of Bethlehem opened by Giesu as a child in the crib
School of Bethlehem opened by Giesu as a child in the crib
By Alexandre Gusmão
Alexandre calls his readers disciples of the Bethlehem school,
St. Bernard writes:
Let us follow, my Lord, and my sweet Giesu, you, with you, and for you we follow the way, truth and life, way of the example, truth of the promise, and life in the reward.
Enjoy the reading.
A road of Mercy, by Yves Chiron
A road of Mercy, by Yves Chiron
from page 21:
With Christmas approaching, while the tiny flock was locked up in the Piano Romano shed, Francesco (Forgione) and Luigi decided to build a crib. …………………………………
don Stefano Guidi
Stella who shines in my crib,
Your birth, which I want to remember every year,
bring blessing and peace to all my family.
The crib that you like best is my heart:
help me prepare it, keep it nice and clean, ready to welcome you:
born Jesus inside me!
And give me that joy and that love
that all men,
as eternal shepherds and pilgrims,
they have always been looking for
and that only You can give.
And now I ask you to join me
to the choir of angels
that in heaven and on earth they sing to all
that You are our Savior.