Newsletter N. 11/23 – In the Cave: 25th December 2023

Christmas of Jesus and Christmas holidays are coming quickly. What can you do?

“In the meantime, prepare yourselves for it with purity of heart and intent. The purer you are, the more you will understand. Because impurity, whatever it is, is always smoke that clouds and weighs down sight and intellect. Be pure. Begin to do so from the body to move on to the spirit. Start with the five senses to move on to the seven passions. Start with the eye, the sense that is king and that opens the way to the most biting and complex of hungers. The eye sees the woman’s flesh and lusts after her flesh. The eye sees the wealth of the rich and lusts after gold. The eye sees the power of rulers and lusts after power. Have a calm, honest, moderate, pure eye, and you will have calm, honest, moderate and pure desires. The purer your eye, the purer your heart. Be watchful of your eye, greedy discoverer of tempting apples. Be chaste in your looks if you want to be chaste in your body. If you have chastity of flesh, you will have chastity of wealth and power. You will have all chastity and you will be friends of God. Do not fear being mocked for being chaste. Only fear that you are enemies of God”. (Gospel vol. 2 pag. 117 – Italian version)

The holy birth of Jesus is now near. Nativity scenes of all sizes and all shapes, thank God, will be created almost everywhere. Private houses, public places, churches, streets, metropolises, cities and hamlets will have their own nativity scene. The variety will be huge: self-built, bought already made, some with beautiful artistic representations and others extremely simple. Some will be accompanied by music, or surrounded by elaborate sets. Everyone, in the end, will have a small, sometimes the smallest, figurine of the newborn Lord Jesus. Beautiful, worthy of being admired, perhaps moving. However, it can remain inexorably external. Even the best painter, perhaps a genius in the art of painting and sculpture, could create extraordinary representations, but even in this case, he cannot in himself go beyond a certain level. To see better and more deeply we need something more than this creation: we need Divine Grace. However, this cannot be purchased anywhere; in fact it’s not for sale at all! The only possibility is to follow the indications of Heaven, actualize them well, ask – or shout, like Timaeus son of Bartimaeus (Mk 10,47-51) – to obtain the gift of “sight” and strongly hope that this will be given to us.

We need “purity of heart and intent”: our being, soul and body, must turn as much as possible to God, in totality, and push ourselves to be in His will. “Start with the five senses to move on to the seven passions” writes Maria Valtorta. How do you do? Without wasting time on details, instead put everything behind the goal to be achieved, starting “with the eye, the sense that is king and that opens the way to the most biting and complex of hungers”. Then the prayer of the heart, intense, complete, which fills soul and body; thus having achieved the simplicity of humility, turn to the cave of the nativity and contemplate. With the eyes of Grace we see that the entire universe is there in adoration: the mystery of the Incarnation is now visible to everyone (or, in any case, to all those who want to see it). If Grace arrives we will be able to see what Saint Francis of Assisi certainly saw. Three slightly cold human beings in a miserable life? Also, but sublimated by the invisible beauty of the purity of the three: Saint Joseph, guardian and putative father, defender of the newborn baby; the Mother, the purest of all creatures because God wanted her to be the first cradle for the Son of God; the Child, man and much more than man, the God made flesh to make us, poor people, beings worthy of Paradise. Eyes have been given to us to behold this wonder of wonders. Blessed are we, blessed are each of us, if we welcome the Divine proposal and, imitating the Holy Virgin, put it into practice.

Merry Holy Christmas!
And Holy 2024!