Meditation On The Nativity Of Our Savior Christ: Of The Going Of The Shepherds To Bethlehem: And What There Happened Unto Them, And All The Rest Unto The Circumcision. POINT III
Of the going of the Shepherds to Bethlehem: and what there happened unto them, and all the rest unto the Circumcision.
And the Shepherd returned glorifying, and praising God in all that they had seen, and heard, and they published it to all that they meet, causing great admiration in all: but Marie kept all those words, conferring them in her heart.
Concerning this verity, it shall not be amiss to consider for our own profit. four sort of persons that were in Bethlehem, and the confines thereof: and the manner how they behaved themselves about this nativity of the Son of almighty God, applying it to myself for mine own profit.
1. Some came not at all to the inn in Bethlehem: for albeit they hear what the Shepherds said, and admired to hear it: yet notwithstanding we read not, that they went to see it, being drunk in their own affaires, and businesses, as there are many now who come not to contemplate these mysteries through sloth, and through busying f themselves in other affairs of their own pleasure.
2. Others by chance entered into the inn, is passing by, but they neither Knew the infant, nor the mother, nor stayed upon more then that exterior that they saw before their eyes. Such are they who assist in these mysteries with a dead faith, without staying upon them, or founding the depth of them: and so they gather no profit.
3. Other, like the Shepherds entered, being moved thereto by almighty God, and with a lively faith adored the child, and reaped great profit thereof: but they remained not there, but returned to their office, praising God, and publishing wonderful works: Such are the just who at times give themselves to prayer, and contemplation of these mysteries, and from thence go to fulfill their obligations, and to preach what they have known of almighty God; moving others to seek and to know him.
4. Others, finally, as Saint Joseph, and the blessed Virgin, were always in the in, assisting the child, and serving him with love, keeping in their memory all that they saw, and heard, and conferring it in their heart. O how divine a conference had the blessed Virgin of all this? She conferred what God was in heaven, with what that child was upon earth: what the Prophets said, with what she beheld with there eyes: what the Angel, and Shepherds had spoken, with what was present in that manger: and this confrence was not dry, but tender, full of great admiration, and of fervent affections of devotion. And in this she spent the eight days until the circumcision. This our lady they do imitate, that dedicate themselves largely some days to the contemplation of these mysteries, making these spiritual conferences in their hearts. Happy are those that in this manner can, know how to assist this infant in the manger.
O soveraign Virgin, teach me to confer within myself, what faith doth dictate unto me of thy Son, and that which thou daddies confer of him in thy heart, that imprinting in my spirit, I may never depart from his presence, but employ myself in knowing, loving, and serving him, for very, and ever, Amen.