Saints' Prayers

selected from the annals of history unto our current day


Meditations for Advent and Easter

by the author of "Meditations for Lent," "St. Francis and the Franciscans," "The Life and Revelations of S. Gertrude," Etc. Etc.

Meditation IX - Monday

The Heart of the Infant Jesus Coming to Deliver the Captives

"He hath sent Me to preach to the meek, to heal the contrite of heart, and to preach a release to the captives, and deliverance to them that are shut up." (Is. lxi. 1.) Ant. at Mag.

1st Prelude. - Represent to yourself the Infant Jesus coming as a deliverer, and the King Jesus coming as a judge.

2nd Prelude. - Pray that you may so prepare each year for the anniversary of His first coming, as to be enabled to meet Him at His second coming without fear.

1st Point. - Consider the mission of the Infant Jesus. He comes to preach, to heal, to release, to deliver. Our divine Lord Himself declared these were the characteristics and the proofs of His mission. When John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask if He was the one who was "to come," Jesus proved that He was indeed the long-expected Messiah by His works. They were to go and relate to John what they had seen and heard; the miracles which they had seen performed; and the gospel which they had heard preached. And now our sweet Infant Jesus is coming again, as it were, on the same work, the same mission. He will preach to us by His example; He will preach humility by His lowliness, He will preach silence by His speechlessness, He will preach charity by His surpassing exercise of that sublime virtue, He will preach love of Mary by His own conduct towards His blessed Mother. And if we are "meek" we shall hear Him and obey Him. The little Infant Jesus has not come to confound the proud, to silence the boaster, to humble the haughty; this will be His work at another coming, when He will manifest His power. Now He comes only to manifest His mercy. Oh, let us pray for meekness, the meekness and simplicity of little children, that we may rightly hear and obey the preaching of this little Child!

2nd Point. - He comes to heal. O successful Physician, who is both the adviser and the remedy. We need not fear, however deep our wounds may be, however long they may have rankled and festered, the little Infant Jesus has a cure for all; one drop of His Infant blood can heal the most inveterate and long-standing sore. Let us no longer complain of our imperfections, of our temptations, of our difficulties, of our weakness. Here is a remedy which cannot fail. All through this blessed Advent, let us kneel in spirit before Mary, the tabernacle where Jesus reposes, and pray to Him to come and heal us, and He will come, and our healing will be perfected in proportion to the depth of our contrition, for He has come to heal the contrite of heart.

3rd Point. - He comes to release the captives. Oh! let us never forget that there is another day coming - a day of exceeding fear - a day of agonizing dread; a day when Jesus will come, not to release, but to bind; not to deliver, but to shut up. And this day will be anticipated for us by the day of our death. The year is fast passing away. Can we tell if we shall live to see the close of another? Are we sure that this terrible day will not come to us before another Advent? If we have prepared for it, and it does not come, shall we be any the worse? If we have not prepared for it, and it does come, what will be our terror and dismay! Oh! let us run to our Infant Jesus, and beseech Him to release us now from sin, that we may not be bound eternally by it.

Aspiration. - O sweet Infant Jesus, come and heal us, come and deliver us.

Form your resolution, and place it in the Heart of the Infant Jesus. Examen of Meditation.

Return to the Eighth Meditation . . . Proceed to the Tenth Meditation