The Solitude of Jesus in the Stable
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Jesus Chose, at His Birth, the Stable-of-Bethlehem for
His Hermitage and Oratory; and for this Purpose, He so-Disposed
Events, as to-be Born out-of the City, in a Solitary Cave, in-order-to Recommend-to us, the Love-of Solitude
and Silence. Jesus remains in-Silence, in the Manger; Mary and
Joseph, Adore and Contemplate Him, in-Silence. It was revealed-to
Sister Margaret-of-the-Blessed-Sacrament, a Discalced-Carmelite, who was called the Spouse-of the Infant Jesus, that all
that Passed-in the Cave-of Bethlehem, even the Visit-of the Shepherds, and the Adoration-of the Holy Magi, took place in-Silence, and without a Word.
Silence, in other Infants, is Impotence; but in Jesus Christ, it was
Virtue. The Infant Jesus does not Speak; but oh! how much
His Silence says! Oh, Blessed is he, that Converses-with
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in this
Holy Solitude of the Manger. The Shepherds, admitted there but-for a very-Short Time, came-out from the Stable,
Inflamed-with Love-to God; for they did nothing but Praise and
Bless Him: They returned, Glorifying and Praising God - Luke 2:20. Oh
Happy the Soul that Shuts itself up, in the Solitude-of Bethlehem, to Contemplate the
Divine Mercy, and the Love that God has
Borne, and still Bears-to Men! I will Lead her into the Wilderness, and I will Speak to her Heart - Hosea 2:14. There
the Divine Infant will Speak, not to the Ear, but
to the Heart, Inviting the Soul to Love
a God, Who hath Loved Her
so-much. When we see there, the Poverty-of this Wandering Little Hermit,
Who remains-in that Cold Cave, without Fire, with a Manger-for a Crib, and
a little Straw-for a Bed; when we Hear the Cries and Behold the Tears-of this
Innocent Child, and consider that He is our
God, how is it Possible-to Think-of anything, but Loving Him! O what a Sweet
Hermitage for a Soul that has Faith, in the
Let us also Imitate Mary and Joseph, who, Burning-with
Love, remain Contemplating the Great Son of God, Clothed-in
Flesh, and made Subject-to Earthly Miseries ----
Wisdom became an Infant, that cannot Speak ---- the
Great One, become Little ---- the Supreme One, become so
Abased ---- Rich One, become so Poor
---- the Omnipotent, so Weak. In short, let us Meditate-on the
Divine Majesty, Shrouded-beneath the Form-of a Little Infant,
Despised and Forsaken-by the World, and
Who Does and Suffers everything, in-order-to make
Himself Loved by Men, and let us Beseech Him to Admit us into this
Sacred Retreat; there Stop, there Remain, and never Leave it again . . . Oh, what a Paradise
it is, to Converse alone with the Infant Jesus, in the little Grotto-of-Bethlehem!
of Jesus Christ
There are Two (2) Principal Occupations-of a Solitary ---- to
Pray, and to do Penance. Behold the Infant Jesus
in the little Grotto-of-Bethlehem, giving us the Example, He, in the Crib, which
He chose-for His Oratory upon Earth, never Ceases to-Pray,
and to-Pray continually-to the Eternal Father. There,
He makes of-Adoration, of-Love, and
Before this Time, the Divine Majesty had been, it is True, Adored
by-Men and by-Angels, but God had not
Received-from all these Creatures, that Honor (∞)
which the Infant Jesus gave Him, by
Adoring Him in the Stable, where He was Born.
Let us, therefore, Constantly Unite our Adorations, to those-of
Jesus Christ, when He was upon this Earth.
Oh, how Beautiful and Perfect were the
Acts-of-Love, which the Incarnate Word made-to His Father,
in His Prayer! God had given-to Man, the
Commandment to Love Him, with all his Heart and
all his Strength; but, this Precept had never been Perfectly Fulfilled-by any Man. The First (1st)
to-Accomplish it amongst Women, was Mary, and amongst Men, Jesus Christ,
Who Fulfilled-it in a Degree, Infinitely (∞)
Superior-to Mary. The Love-of the Seraphim, may be said to be
Cold, in-comparison-with the Love-of this Holy Infant. Let us
Learn-from Him, to Love the Lord-our-God
as He ought-to-be Loved; and let us Beseech
Him, to Communicate-to us, a Spark-of that Pure Love, with-which
He Loved the Divine Father, in the Stable-at-Bethlehem.
Oh, how Beautiful, how Perfect, and Dear-to
God, were the Prayers-of the Infant Jesus! At
every Moment, He Prayed-to
His Father, and His Prayers were All for us, and
for Each One-of us, in Particular. All the Graces that each One-of us has Received-from the
our being Called-to the True Faith,
our having had Time given us, for Repentance,
the Sorrow for Sins,
the Pardon of them,
the Holy Desires,
the Victory-over Temptations,
all the other Good Acts that we have-made, or shall-make,
of Resignation ----
All these, Jesus has Obtained-for us, and All has been the Effect-of the
Prayers-of Jesus. Oh, how much do we Owe
Him! And how much we ought to-Thank Him and to-Love
- End of Liguori Discourse -
Saint Jerome, Doctor of the Church, at the Grotto/Stable-of-Bethlehem
Saint Jerome - by BAROCCI, Federico Fiori - from Galleria Borghese, Rome.
In this Painting, Saint Jerome (Doctor-of the Latin Church, and Father-of Biblical Science ) is depicted Translating/Writing the Latin-Vulgate
Catholic Bible, in the Holy Solitude-of the Stable/Grotto-of-Bethlehem. He is Beating his Chest in-Penitential Prayer, in-front of a Crucifix,
in Contemplation-with Jesus Christ the Supernatural Source of all Knowledge, Grace and Love. The Candlelight is a Symbolic Visualization-of
the "Lux Intellecti", a Metaphor-for Divine Grace, discussed by Saint Augustine. Recent Restoration has revealed a Lion, Lurking-in the
Background. The Lion is Symbolic-of Satan, who Unsuccessfully Attempts to-cause Saint Jerome to-Err, in his Writings.
Prayers of Affection
My Dear Redeemer! How much do I Owe Thee! If Thou hadst not Prayed for me, in what a State-of-Ruin,
should I find myself! I Thank Thee, O my Jesus; Thy Prayers have Obtained for me the Pardon-of my Sins, and I Hope that they will also Obtain-for me,
Perseverance unto Death. Thou hast Prayed for me, and I Bless Thee with my Whole Heart for it; but I Beseech Thee not to Leave-off Praying.
I know that Thou dost Continue, even in Heaven, to be our Advocate: We have an Advocate, Jesus Christ; and I know that Thou dost Continue-to Pray
for us: Who also maketh Intercession for us. Continue therefore to Pray; but Pray, O my Jesus, more-Particularly for me, who am so in Want-of Thy
Prayers. I Hope that God has already Pardoned me, through Thy Merits; but as I so often Fall, I may Fall again. Hell does not Cease and will not Cease,
to Tempt me, in-order-to make me again Lose Thy Friendship.
Ah, my Jesus, Thou art my Hope; it is Thou that must give me Fortitude to Resist, from Thee I Seek it,
and of Thee I Hope for it! I Desire also the Grace to Love Thee Exceedingly. My Death approaches. If I were to Die now, I should indeed Hope to be
Saved; but I should Love Thee so-little in Paradise, because I have hitherto Loved Thee so-little. I will Love Thee much in the days that Remain-to me,
that I may love Thee still more, in Eternity.
My Dearest Savior, Thou art the King of Heaven, the King of kings, the Son of God; I see Thee in this Cave,
Forsaken-by all! I see no Assisting Thee, but Joseph and Thy Holy Mother. I Desire to Unite myself also, in keeping Thee company. Do not Reject me. I
do not Deserve it, but I feel that Thou dost Invite me by Thy Sweet Voice, speaking to my Heart.
Yes, I come, O my Beloved Infant! I will leave all things to Pass my Whole Life alone with Thee, my Dear
Little Hermit, the only Love-of my Soul. Fool that I was, I have hitherto Forsaken Thee, and left Thee alone, O my Jesus, whilst I was Seeking
Miserable and Empoisoned Pleasures from Creatures; but now, Enlightened-by Thy Grace, I Desire nothing, but to Live-in Solitude, on this Earth. Oh,
Bind me, I Pray Thee! Ah, by the Merits of Thy Solitude in the Cave-of-Bethlehem, give me a constant Interior Recollection, so that my Soul may become
a Solitary Little Cell, where I may Attend-to nothing but Conversing-with Thee; where I may always Love Thee.
I Love Thee, O Infinite Goodness, and I Hope always to Love Thee, in Time and in Eternity.
O Mary, thou who canst do all things, Pray to Him to Enchain me with His Love, and not to Permit me ever again to Lose His
Grace. O Mary, my Mother! thy Prayers are all-Powerful with thy Son, Who Loves thee so much. Thou dost so much Desire that He should be Loved, Beseech
Him to give me a Great Love for His Goodness, and let this Love be Constant and Eternal.