Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

OCDS Central

The Nativity – Everyday

”While they were (in Bethlehem)…she gave birth to her first-born” (Lk 2:6)

          It is, as often as not, in the “Bethlehem’s” of our lives, that we can notice Jesus being “born” in our midst.

“(She) wrapped him in swaddling clothes” (Lk 2:7)

          When we recognize Jesus’ coming to us, it brings a sense of being drawn to attend with the most tender care, diligent focus and gentleness, as if with a newborn.  A scriptural passage that also seems to express this demeanor is from the Song of Songs:  “I found him whom my heart loves.  I took hold of him, and would not let him go.”

“And laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Lk 2:7)

          It is not in the external creature comforts that we typically find him for whom we are looking to be our Guest in the home of our hearts.  There needs to be a “making room” in the interior, and it is often when there has been great disappointment that we find him knocking.  He is found waiting there, nourishing our “inmost being,” inviting us to share his nourishment.  (Interestingly, the “manger,” or feeding trough for animals, in which he humbled himself to be laid, is the French word for “to feed”).

“There were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” (Lk 2:8)

          Again, we are often ready to receive him most readily in our humblest types of occupations, many times in our ordinary daily tasks.

“And an angel of the Lord appeared to them…and said to them, “…I bring you news of great joy…” (Lk2:9. 10)

“Today in the City of David a Savior is born to you, who is Christ the Lord.” (Lk 2:10)

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased.” (Lk 2:14)

          Like the shepherds, any who are simple and poor are ready recipients of him who, though rich, made himself poor (2 Cor 8:9).  The Good News is able to be heard by the poor in spirit, the lowly, and any who are open to the message of mercy.

“And some wise men came from the East…and they saw the child with his mother Mary…”(Mt 2:1,10)

          In order to be successful in the search for the King, those who are surrounded by material and other kinds of riches in this world, must approach with a humbling, diligent, persevering disposition, willing to leave all and not stop until finding the Treasure of His Presence.

“Falling to their knees they offered him homage…then they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh…” (Mt 2:11)

          This perseverance, and coming to a stop when the search has reached the goal, is a key to abiding in the infinitely rich Presence.  The gifts express valuable, key elements to continuing to live the life:  gold – faithful deeds of love and faith; frankincense – the fragrant scent of prayer; myrrh – a loving, praying life poured out.

“(And) Mary kept in mind all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Lk 2:19)

          The Trinity is abiding within, having conceived and given birth to the Word. 

“The knowledge of the mystery hidden in Christ Jesus”

“We must then dig deeply in Christ.  He is like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasures…In him are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God.”  (from Office of Readings, St. John of the Cross)

Written by "A Listening Heart"
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Other Blogs by Secular Discalced Carmelites:

  • Bethany Hang Out – a blog by Shawn Chapman, OCDS. Shawn is a member of the Austin community of Secular Discalced Carmelites. She also writes regularly for ATX Catholic online.
  • Elizabeth Explores Writing - a blog by Elizabeth Ogilvie, OCDS. Elizabeth is a Secular Discalced Carmelite of the U.S. Central Province.
  • Gray Rising – a blog by Tim Bete, OCDS. Tim is a member of the community of the Secular Discalced Carmelites in Dayton, OH.
  • Hearth Cake and a Jug of Water – Mary Bellman, a member of the Dallas OCDS community, sends out a daily Carmelite quotation by e-mail. Send her an email at bellman.mary@gmail.com if you would like to be added on her mailing list and receive these Carmelite quotations.
  • Illumina, Domine – a blog by Pat Enk, a Secular Discalced Carmelite of the U.S. Central Province.