The Rush of a Flaming Flood: Guardini on Christmas, 2

This sculpture from Chartres Cathedral shows Mary looking over at the new born Jesus and placing her hand on him. Guardini’s meditation on the mystery of the nativity captures the deep truth of such a small gesture. It signifies the deepened awareness of the mother Mary concerning her child. She shifts from expectation to beholding the presence of Christ. Here is the entirety of his meditation from The Rosary of Our Lady:

It is the hour of the Holy Night. The divine Child Jesus comes forth into the outer world, becomes our brother, and takes upon himself the lot of the Redeemer. “And it came to pass while they were there, that days for her to be delivered were fulfilled. And she brought forth her firstborn son.” (Lk 2:6-7)  These words are addressed to us all, and the glorification of that joyous happening will never be muted on this earth.

At the same hour something happened that concerned Mary alone: in her own personal being, in her spirit and in her heart. Christ moved into the  open expanse of her perception and love; the attitude of expectation became a communion face-to-face. Unutterable truth — she saw Him who was the manifestation of the living God! As her heart overflowed, a flaming flood rushed toward Him who came with the love of the Redeemer. Serving Him in his tender years, she served the Lord who had revealed Himself in human weakness.

This takes place spiritually in every Christian as often as the inner life which is divined by faith steps into the clarity of knowledge, into the distinctness of action, and into the decisiveness of testimony. In every one of us Christ is born as often as He penetrates, as essence and standard, into any deed or happening. One day this happens with particular significance; namely on that day when it dawns on us, clear and strong, who Christ is, so that He becomes the governing reality of our inner lives.


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