Making my heart a manger   Leave a comment

Today is Christmas, the birthday of the Lord. How amazing that is! God Himself – the Creator of you, and me, and the universe and EVERYTHING – has become a little baby. He entrusts Himself to Mary and Joseph. And, to me. As I consider that reality, I am excited, bewildered, afraid and comforted, all at once. 

Today in his homily, our pastor said that our hearts are to be mangers for Jesus. I really pondered that, and will have to continue thinking about what it means. From a mystical/spiritual perspective, the fact that the Baby Jesus was laid in a manger is highly significant, and has a deep theological meaning. The manger is literally the “feed box” for the animals, the place from which they receive their sustenance. Being tucked “Away in a Manger” is not only, or even primarily, about the humility of God – made – man (although it certainly is that). This little Child will become our sustenance, the Bread of Life. Not only does God (the Creator of you and me and the universe and everything) humble Himself and enter into His creation in a most intimate and tangible way; but He then gives Himself to us in a way that makes us acutely aware that He sustains us, that our life is dependent on Him, and that we are because He Is. St. Paul tells us that “In Him we live, and move, and have our being…” (Acts 17:28). But nothing makes these words more clear, more perceivable to us than Christ within us in the Eucharist. We come to the manger at each Liturgy and we are fed by Him. 

The manger is also the place of rest – the place where the Child cooed, cried, and slept “in heavenly peace.” And so my heart must be a manger, a place for Jesus to rest with me, but also a place for Him to cry with me, be content with me, and love in me. That’s a more difficult task, I think, because of all of the noise that surrounds me, and that lives in my head. Bad influences, gossip, anger, jealousy, boredom, temptation –  concupiscence in general, I suppose. And then the noise in my head: grief, self-doubt, wondering, questioning. but above all of that noise, from within and without, there is seeking. I seek Him and long to have Him resting in the manger of my heart.

Amid all of the chaos and nonsense in the world, in my own life, I still possess hope. Why and how, I don’t know. It can only be His grace, His gift, and I am so very grateful.

Make your heart a manger for the Lord, and let Him live there.

Let Him cry and coo and rest with you.


Posted December 26, 2013 by palsa99 in Uncategorized

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