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 VI - Friday
The Heart of the Infant Jesus, Our Coming Purifier
"And one of the Seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a live coal, which he had taken with the tongs off the altar. And he touched my mouth, and said : Behold, this hath touched thy lips, and thy iniquities shall be taken away, and thy sin cleansed." (Is. vi. 6, 7.) 2nd Lesson at Matins.
1st Prelude. - Represent to yourself the subject of Isaias' vision: he "saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and elevated, and His train filled the temple." The Seraphim attend Him, and cry one to the other: "Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God of hosts, all the earth is full of His glory."
2nd Prelude. - Pray that you may be so purified as to adore this God of hosts worthily.
1st Point. - Consider the Infant Jesus as our Purifier. He comes that He may touch our lips, not with a live coal from the altar of sacrifice, but with Himself, the Victim of sacrifice. Even as the Seraphim adored trembling, and uttering in this marvellous vision the Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, which never ceases before the eternal throne, so did they tremble and adore uttering the same canticle of adoration as they knelt before Mary, when Jesus sat upon the royal throne of her royal womb. And yet we can dare to approach that majesty without fear and without adoration. Advent should be for us a special time of purification. We should purify ourselves to receive our newborn King at Christmas; we should purify ourselves to prepare for the coming of that King, no longer as an Infant and a purifier, but as a judge and a dispenser of justice. Oh, let us seek to have our lips now so purified by the Sacrifice of the Altar, that they may be worthy of the eternal entrance of our coming Bridegroom!
2nd Point. - Consider the words of this lesson: "They cried one to another, Holy, holy, holy." Thus, also, should we cry to each other, by our words and our example, Holy, holy, holy. Our God is holy; we must be holy. Our God is holy; we are His children; children must be like their father. Our God who is coming to us is a holy God; He cannot love iniquity; He will turn away from us if He finds we are not in earnest in endeavouring to deliver ourselves from sin - from that sin from which He is coming at such a cost to release us. We must give each other good examples - examples of fervour, examples of charity, examples of devotion - crying out one to another, "The Holy One is coming; let us prepare to meet Him."
3rd Point. - We need two kinds of purification. When the Seraph touched the lips of the Prophet, he said: "Thy iniquities shall be taken away, and thy sin shall be cleansed." Our Infant Jesus is coming to touch our lips with the kiss of peace, that He may impart this twofold purification. First, He will cleanse all our past sins, that is, He will "take away our iniquities;" and we must prepare for this by a good confession, a fervent contrition, and worthy penance. Oh, how earnestly and specially we ought to prepare for our Christmas confession! Jesus is coming to take away our sins; it is but little He asks us to do to obtain so great a grace. Secondly, He will purify us by cleansing us from our daily imperfections and faults, and for this we must prepare by commencing now to observe our resolutions with great fidelity, so that our sweet Jesus may find only such imperfections as are almost inevitable to human frailty.
Aspiration. - O my sweet Infant Jesus, touch my lips and my heart, and purify me more and more.
Form your resolution, and place it in the Heart of the Infant Jesus. Examen of Meditation.
Return to the Fifth Meditation . . . Proceed to the Seventh Meditation