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And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

Christmas is only a few days away. During these weeks of Advent, we have been emphasizing the importance of slowing down to spend time with Jesus instead of getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the secular holiday season. Have you made time in your schedule to spend time with Jesus, contemplating His love, mercy, and forgiveness?

Thankfully, it is not too late. During the next couple of days, block out some time to quiet your heart and fix your eyes on Jesus, so that you can experience the wonder and awe of Christmas like never before.

In his book, The power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise, Cardinal Robert Sarah explains the importance of silence:

God achieves everything, acts in all circumstances, and brings about all our interior transformations. But he does it when we wait for him in recollection and silence. In silence, not in the turmoil and noise, God enters the innermost depths of our being…

God’s being has always been present in us in an absolute silence. And a human being’s own silence allows him to enter into a relationship with the Word that is at the bottom of his heart…Silence is not an absence. On the contrary, it is the manifestation of a presence, the most intense of all presences.[1]

Once you have quieted your heart, consider reading the Gospel account of the birth of Jesus in Luke 2:1-14. Pay special attention to the words “there was no place for them in the inn” (Lk 2:7). Do you have room for Jesus under your roof? Do you have room for Him in your heart? Then remain silent before the Lord and let Him speak to your heart, to fill you with His love and peace. We can become so full of ourselves that there is no room left for Jesus. And that means there is no room for others including our spouse, our children, the poor, or the stranger.

You are the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus in a world caught up in the pursuit of fleeting pleasures. You are Christ’s instrument for bringing His love to those around you. To extent that you are overflowing with the love of Jesus, is the extent that you can share Him with others.

If the Church is the spouse of Christ, then like every spouse she will generate new children only in uniting herself to her Spouse through love. The fruitfulness of the Church depends on her love for Christ. The best service anyone of us can do for the Church is therefore to love Jesus and grow in intimacy with him.[2] Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap.

Share the real joy of Christmas with family, friends, and even strangers. Many people struggle with depression, hopelessness, and despair in this holiday season. Be the light of Christ in their darkness. You may be the only one to show them love and kindness. Think of someone you know who may be alone. Invite them to Mass and to your home to celebrate Christmas with you and your family.

Let us seek to love Christ and to make him loved…[3] Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap.

May you be blessed so that you may be a blessing to others.

[1] Sarah, Robert, The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2017), 25-27.

[2] Catholic New Agency, With Advent here, the papal preacher has a how-to guide for seeking Christ, Internet: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/with-advent-here-the-papal-preacher-has-a-how-to-guide-for-seeking-christ-67264 (accessed December 17, 2019).

[3] Ibid.