We are so enjoying Mother Mary Loyola's First Communion this year. My two oldest actually made their First Holy Communion last spring, but this book is such a gem that I couldn't resist scheduling it anyway this year. And I'm glad I did, because I think I'm getting even more out of it than they are! A peek from this past week's reading:
"It was cold and comfortless in the stable that first Christmas night. But the Infant Jesus lay patiently in His manger, for He knew that Francis of Assisi would be coming by-and-bye to make His meditation beside Him, and that kneeling there on the straw, he would so burn with love for 'the little Babe of Bethlehem,' as to become a very seraph on earth.
"It was sad to see the rich young man whom He loved go away sorrowful when he first heard the words, 'If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, ... and come, follow Me.' But Jesus thought of the day when Antony, young and rich, would hear those words read in the Gospel at Mass, and taking them to himself, would make himself poor for his Master's sake--and the Sacred Heart was comforted.
"Yet Francis was never at Bethlehem. It was in heart and desire only that he knelt by the manger, and saw the Babe, and learned his lesson. And Antony heard only what we hear again and again. How it it then that our Lord's words and example sink so deeply into some hearts, whilst they make no impression on others? Only because some prepare their hearts. They look lovingly, they listen eagerly, as He says to them, 'Learn of Me," and so they see and hear what others do not, because God shows Himself to them, and speaks to them Himself." (p. 82)
Mother Loyola has a gift for presenting spiritually-packed topics with sensitivity and charm. The next chapter is titled "Bethlehem"--perfect timing for our heading into Advent in the next couple weeks!