Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Our hearts, a dwelling place for the Lord tonight!

The Lord of the universe was born in a manger. Do you know what a manger really is? It comes from the old French word mangeure, which stems from the Latin word manducat- or "chewed". It is literally a trough where animals feed. It most likely was not made of wood as most of us imagine it. Wood was quite scarce in those parts of Judea. “The manger would have been hewn of stone."
Jesus would have been laid in a trough that already foreshadowed the tomb he would lay in three days before His resurrection. It even foreshadows his becoming food for the Salvation of the all mankind.

The child Jesus is to be born tonight. Again? No! His birth was and is for all eternity. Just as his death, the Lord's birth is outside of time and in aeternum.  His birth tonight is for each of us and yet, for the Salvation of the world.

But the real question to ask ourselves today is, where will He be born this evening? In a cold and uncomfortable manger? or in the space, we make for him in our hearts? Jesus desires to come into our hearts this evening! He wants you to make room for Him.

Is there room? What state is your heart in? Is it ready to receive the King of the World? Is it cold, uncomfortable and full of grime? You can clean up your heart, prepare it for the Savior. It's not too late. Go and receive the beautiful sacrament of Reconciliation. Make room for Him. Remove all sin and grime. He wants to come and take possession of your heart. He wants to dwell there, stay there, transform your life there!

One of my most favorite Christmas stories is probably one of the simplest. The Lord can take our sinfulness and even our old habits and transform them in one instant. Are you ready?

St. Therese of Lisieux, the great saint we know today was not such a saint all her life.

"She was a stubborn and childish little girl. Her mother was terribly worried about her. 'One cannot tell how she will turn out, her stubbornness is almost unconquerable...nothing will make her change.”

Therese writes in the "Story of a Soul" (some paraphrasing).

When I got home from Midnight Mass, I knew that I should find my shoes standing at the fireplace, filled with presents, as I had always done since I was little, so you can see I was still treated as a baby.

Father used to love to see how happy I was and hear my cries of delight as I took each surprise packet from my magic shoes, and his pleasure made me happier still. But the time had come for Jesus to cure me of my childishness; even the innocent joys of childhood were to go. He allowed Father to feel cross this year, instead of spoiling me, and as I was going upstairs, I heard him saying: “Therese ought to have outgrown all this sort of thing, and I hope this will be the last time.” This cut me to the quick, and Céline, who knew how very sensitive I was, whispered to me: “Don’t come down again just yet; you’ll only go and cry if you open your presents now in front of Father.”

But I was not the same Thérèse any more; Jesus had changed me completely. I held back my tears, and trying to stop my heart from beating so fast, I ran down into the dining room. I picked up the shoes and unwrapped my presents joyfully, looking all the while as happy as a queen. Father did not look cross anymore now and entered into the fun of it, while Céline thought she must have been dreaming. But this was no dream. Thérèse had gotten back forever the strength of mind she had lost at four and a half.

You can read the full article from Aleteia "St. Therese of Lisiuex was never the same after the Christmas of 1886." here. 

Let us ask the Lord for a Christmas miracle in our own lives. Let us clean up this dwelling place for the Lord, our hearts. Let us, through the intercession of Mary, the first dwelling place of Christ, ask that he repair our hearts. Let him transform our hearts. Transform our lives so that we may become a dwelling place for Him always.

A very happy and blessed Christmas to you all.

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