Monday, December 7, 2015
The Little Child in this painting is, of course, Jesus Christ, destined to overcome the world and banish the darkness of the Evil One. We are watching for him, especially now in Advent.
The prophet Isaiah tells us: "then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat; the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them..." Catholic New American Bible, Revised Edition, Isaiah 11: 6.
On this side of The Cottage Door, I have been discerning the evil that exists daily in my own heart. I remember that if I am repentant, I can go to Jesus and ask the Father to purge my soul of everything that might offend or hurt him. What a blessing and a grace, undeserved, but all the more beautiful because it is given so freely, so completely.
In The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, the wicked witch feels she has conquered the powerful and good Aslan, the lion in: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. She, her demons and her ogres accomplish Aslan's tortuous murder, yet Aslan is far from dead. He rises from the altar to pursue and conquer her for good. If you haven't read this "children's" book for a while, do review it and savor its masterfully penned allegory. When I re-read it the other morning, I was brought to tears once again. The depth of love displayed by the children toward their friend is astounding. His loyalty to the good, what a sacrifice. How brave, how valiant he is, just the sort of friend we all need.
Jesus is our best friend, born so long ago as a babe. It is comforting to think of Mary holding him, caressing him, cuddling and protecting him. This Advent, rather than focusing on what Jesus can do for me, I am resolved to wonder what I can do for him. I would like to hold him, stroke his wounded head, comfort his aching heart, and tell him that I am loyal to him and willing to sacrifice my own little needs for his sake and the sake of others less fortunate. This Advent, I want to open the door wide for him, hoping he will come right Through the Cottage Door so I can greet him!
Have a wonderful Advent, and keep your heart's door wide open for the Little Child, become Man.