It was on Christmas night that St Th�r�se experienced her definitive
‘conversion’, enabling her to change from a weepy, self-centred girl to one who
began to go out of herself and think of others. It was just before Christmas
that John of the Cross died at midnight, lonely and in pain, at the convent of
Ubeda. For him, that night was to prove ‘more lovely than the dawn’ as he
promised his brothers that he would be singing Matins that day in
St. John of the Cross
The liturgical feasts and
seasons meant more than an external commemoration; they were the occasion of an
interior transformation in the spirit of the mystery being celebrated. On the
day before Christmas he used to organize with the friars a kind of
paraliturgical procession to recall how Mary and Joseph went in search of
lodging for the divine Infant. At Christmas time above all he felt his heart
pulsate with love for the Child Jesus. One Christmas, seeing a statue of the
Infant lying on a cushion, he cried out, “Lord, if love is to slay me, the hour
has now come. ” Another Christmas, taken with love, he took the statue of the
Infant in his arms and began to dance with enraptured joy.
Copyright ICS Publications.
Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, if this copyright
notice is included.
St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith
She celebrated her first
Christmas in Carmel with especial, almost childish, joy. On the mystery of
Christmas, she had said in a lecture of 1930 at Ludwigshafen: “Let us put our
hands in those of the Divine Babe, let us say our Yes to his invitation ‘Follow
me’, and we will be his. The way will be clear for his divine life to become
incarnate in us. It is precisely this that is the light come through the
darkness, a light kindled in the soul the miracle of Christmas”. But she
had also said that “upon the same light, shining so brilliantly in the manger,
comes the shadow of the Cross. The road leads irresistible from Bethlehem to
Golgotha, from the manger to the Cross”.