The Radiant Light of the Newborn Babe, Christ the King, Hath Shone Through the Darkness

Fallen men waited for four thousand years from the time of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden for this happy day to occur. It was, however, in God's Holy Providence that most of those alive at the time that the Word Incarnate issued forth from His Most Blessed Mother's Virginal and Immaculate Womb in piercing cold at Midnight on Christmas Day did not know that their Divine Redeemer, God Incarnate in the very Flesh, had been born to save them from their sins. 

Sadly, most men alive today treat this most joyful day as though the Nativity of the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity made Man was merely an occasion for some kind of ritualistic gift-giving that has nothing to do with truly honoring the Newborn Babe Who was born to pay back the debt of their sins as He suffered His ignominious death on the wood of the Holy Cross. There is little thought given to the fact that it was God's ineffable love for His rational creatures to send His Co-Equal and Co-Eternal Divine Son to suffer and to die for their own sins, and there is even less thought of the fact that men must quit their sins and make reparation for them by cooperating with the graces won for us all by Our Divine Redeemer Who was born for us on this happy day.

Sadder still is the fact that so many men alive today do not pay any heed to the inestimabile privileges bestowed upon the very Mother of God as she brought forth her only Son, Who had been begotten of the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, at the Annuciation, and thus do not understand the joyful circumstances in which the Nativity of her Divine Son occurred so miraculously. There is thus little contemplation given to the glories of this day on which a Saviour was born for us.

Indeed, even so many Catholics alive today permit themselves any time to spend in contemplation of the mysteries of Christmas, agitated as they are by the events of a world that still looks for a redeemer in all of the wrong places. 

It is good, therefore, for us to on this day, which is full of such sublime and inexpressible joy, to consider Venerable Mary of Agreda's description of the circumstances in which the Baby Jesus was born for us that she learned from the very Mother of God herself, the Queen of Heaven: Our Lady:

The palace which the supreme King of kings and Lord of lords had chosen for entertaining his eternal and incarnate Son in this world was a most poor and insignificant hut or cave, to which most holy Mary and St. Joseph went after they had been denied all hospitality and the most ordinary kindness by their fellow men, as I have described in the previous chapter. This place was held in such contempt that although the town of Bethlehem was full of strangers in need of night shelter none would demean or degrade himself so far as to make use of it for a lodging, for there was no one who deemed it suitable or desirable for such a purpose except the Teachers of humility and poverty, Christ our Savior and his most pure Mother. For this reason the wisdom of the eternal Father had reserved it for Them, consecrating it in all its bareness, loneliness and poverty as the first temple of light, and as the house of the true Sun of justice (Mal. 4:2), who for the upright of heart was to be born from the most resplendent aurora Mary in the midst of the darkness of night (symbolic of the night of sin) which filled the entire world (Ps. 111:4).  (New English Edition of the The Mystical City of God, The Book Four: The Incarnation, Chapter Ten.)

The conditions described above can be applied to our sins, can it not?

That is, are our souls truly fit to be the dwelling place for Our King of Kings when we receive Him in Holy Communion? Yet it is His Holy Will that, despite our lukewarmness and worldliness, He deigns to enter into the poor, pitiable dwelling that we offer unto Him. The God Who entered the world in humility condescends to come us humbly under the appearances of bread and wine. How are we prepared to receive Him? Is there truly place in the "inn" of our hearts for Him?

The Venerable Mary of Agreda then described the gratitude of Our Lady and Saint Joseph for finding a dwelling place that was of such poor and humble estate as this was but the will of the very God Who came to be born in poverty and anonymity:

469. Most holy Mary and St. Joseph entered the lodging thus provided for them, and by the effulgence of the ten thousand Angels of their guard they could easily ascertain its poverty and loneliness, which they esteemed as favors and welcomed with tears of consolation and joy. Without delay the two holy travelers fell on their knees and praised the Lord, giving Him thanks for this benefit which they knew had been provided by his wisdom for his own hidden designs. Regarding this mystery the heavenly Princess Mary had a better insight, for as soon as She sanctified the interior of the cave by her sacred footsteps She felt a fullness of joy which entirely elevated and vivified Her. She besought the Lord to bless with a liberal hand all the inhabitants of the neighboring city, because by rejecting Her they had given occasion for the vast favors which She awaited in this neglected cavern. It was formed entirely of the bare and coarse rocks, without any natural beauty or artificial adornment, a place intended merely for the shelter of animals, yet the eternal Father had selected it for the shelter and dwelling place of his own Son.

We must always be content and grateful no matter are our temporal circumstances. What matters to God is that we accept His Holy Will with equanimity and gratitude, finding in its acceptance and peaceful acceptance endless opportunities to imitate the virtues exhibited by Our Lady and her Most Chaste Spouse, our Good Saint Joseph, the just and quiet man of the House of David who is the Patron of the Universal Church and the Protector of the Faithful. 

Consider how Our Lady set about cleaning the cave with her own royal hands so that her Divine Son could be born and placed in His royal throne, namely, the Crib, made of the very wood with which He would later make a living as a humble carpenter and on which He would be crucified to effect our Redemption:

470. The angelic spirits, who like a celestial militia guarded their Queen and Lady, formed themselves into cohorts in the manner of court guards in a royal palace. They showed themselves