HomeSaint JosemariaTalking to GodMeditating on the Pope’s three Christmas wishes with St Josemaria
Saint Josemaria
Quotations from Saint Josemaria

Meditating on the Pope’s three Christmas wishes with St Josemaria

Tags: Charity, Vocation, Pope Benedict XVI, Christmas
Pope Benedict XVI expressed three wishes before lighting the lights on a Christmas tree: raising our gaze toward God; seeking the true light for our lives, and being light for others. Some passages from St Josemaria’s writings can help to focus on these themes.

My first wish is that our gaze should not rest only on the horizon of this world, on its material things, but that it should be directed toward God” (Benedict XVI, December 7, 2011).

Whenever I preach beside the crib, I try to see Christ our Lord as a child wrapped in swaddling clothes lying on straw in a manger. Even though he is only a child, unable to speak, I see him as a master and a teacher. I need to look at him in this way, because I must learn from him. And to learn from him, you must try to know his life — reading the Gospel and meditating on the scenes of the New Testament — in order to understand the divine meaning of his life on earth.
Christ is Passing By, 14

The Lord knows full well that giving is a vital need for those in love, and he himself points out what he desires from us. He does not care for riches, nor for the fruits or the beasts of the earth, nor for the sea or the air, because they all belong to him. He wants something intimate, which we have to give him freely: “My son, give me your heart.” Do you see? God is not satisfied with sharing. He wants it all. It's not our things he wants. It is ourselves. It is only when we give ourselves that we can offer other gifts to our Lord.
Christ is Passing By, 35

Earthly possessions are not bad, but they are debased when we set them up as idols, when we adore them. They are ennobled when they are converted into instruments for good, for just and charitable Christian undertakings. We cannot seek after material goods as if they were a treasure. Our treasure is here, in a manger. Our treasure is Christ and all our love and desire must be centred on him, “for where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also.”
Christ is Passing By, 35

I hope to impel you, with my words, to seek more earnestly for the presence of God, conversation with him, a close and loving relationship with our God, One and Three, through family-like devotion to the “trinity on earth”. May our habitual, trusting dialogue with Jesus, Mary and Joseph be for us, and for those around us, like a constant catechesis, an open book that enables us to take our part in the merciful, redeeming mysteries of God made Man.
Letter dated February 14, 1974

My second wish is that we recall that we also need a light to illumine the path of our lives and to give us hope, especially in this time in which we feel so greatly the weight of difficulties” (Benedict XVI, December 7, 2011).

“This day shall light shine upon us; for the Lord is born to us.” This is the great announcement which moves Christians today. Through them it is addressed to all mankind. God is here. This truth should fill our lives, and every Christmas should be for us a new and special meeting with God, when we allow his light and grace to enter deep into our soul.
Christ is Passing By, 12

Our Lord became man to teach us the Father's will. And this he is already doing as he lies there in the manger. Jesus Christ is seeking us — with a call which is a vocation to sanctity — so that we may carry out the redemption with him.
Christ is Passing By, 31

God has called us clearly and unmistakably. Like the Magi we have discovered a star: a light and a guide in the sky of our soul.
Christ is Passing By, 32

Our calling discloses to us the meaning of our existence. It means being convinced, through faith, of the reason for our life on earth. Our life, the present, past and future, acquires a new dimension, a depth we did not perceive before. All happenings and events now fall within their true perspective: we understand where God is leading us, and we feel ourselves borne along by this task entrusted to us.
Christ is Passing By, 45

“We have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him.” We have had the same experience. We too noticed a new light shining in our soul and growing increasingly brighter. It was a desire to live a fully Christian life, a keenness to take God seriously.
Christ is Passing By, 32

If vocation comes first, if the star shines ahead to start us along the path of God's love, it is illogical that we should begin to doubt if it chances to disappear from view. It might happen at certain moments in our interior life — and we are nearly always to blame — that the star disappears, just as it did to the wise kings on their journey. We have already realized the divine splendour of our vocation, and we are convinced about its definitive character, but perhaps the dust we stir up as we walk — our falls and weaknesses — forms an opaque cloud that cuts off the light from above.
Christ is Passing By, 34

If we do not lose faith, if we keep our hope in Jesus Christ who will be with us “until the consummation of the world,” then the star reappears. And with this fresh proof that our vocation is real, we are conscious of a greater joy which increases our faith, hope and love.
Christ is Passing By, 35

“Going into the house they saw the child with Mary, his Mother, and they fell down and worshipped him.” We also kneel down before Jesus, God hidden in humanity. We tell him once more that we do not want to turn our backs on his divine call, that we shall never separate ourselves from him, that we shall remove from our path all that may be an obstacle to our fidelity and that we sincerely wish to be docile to his inspirations. You, in your own heart, and I in mine — because I am praying with deep silent cries — are telling the child Jesus that we desire to fulfil our duties as well as the servants of the parable, so that we too may hear the response: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Christ is Passing By, 35

My final wish is that each of us contribute something of that light to the spheres in which we live” (Benedict XVI, December 7, 2011).

Iesus Christus, Deus homo: Jesus Christ, God-man. This is one of “the mighty works of God,” which we should reflect upon and thank him for. He has come to bring “peace on earth to men of good will.”
Christ is Passing By, 13

We should ask our Lord to give us a good heart, capable of having compassion for other people's pain. Only with such a heart can we realize that the true balm for the suffering and anguish in this world is love, charity. All other consolations hardly even have a temporary effect and leave behind them bitterness and despair. If we want to help others, we must love them — I insist — with a love clothed in understanding, dedication, affection and voluntary humility. Then we will understand why our Lord summed up the whole law in that double commandment, which is really just one: love of God, and love of one's neighbour, with all our heart.
Christ is Passing By, 167

Just as Christ “went about doing good” throughout Palestine, so must you also spread peace in your family circle, in civil society, on the job, and in your cultural and leisure activities. This will be the best proof that the kingdom of God has reached your heart. As St John wrote: “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren.”
Christ is Passing By, 166

Now, in front of the infant Jesus, we can continue our personal examination of conscience. Are we ready to try to make our life a model and an example to our brothers and sisters, the rest of mankind, our equals? Are we ready to be other Christs?
Christ is Passing By, 21

Saint Joseph, our Father and Lord: most chaste, most pure. You were found worthy to carry the Child Jesus in your arms, to wash him, to hug him. Teach us to get to know God, and to be pure, worthy of being other Christs. And help us to do and to teach, as Christ did. Help us to open up the divine paths of the earth, which are both hidden and bright; and help us to show them to mankind, telling our fellow men that their lives on earth can have an extraordinary and constant supernatural effectiveness.
The Forge, 553