Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Continuing Poverty of the First Christmas: Forgotten, Neglected and Scorned

By St. Bridget
I am the Creator of heaven and earth, one in divinity with the Father and the Holy Spirit. I am he who spoke to the prophets and the patriarchs, the one whom they awaited. For the sake of their longing and in accordance with my promise, I took flesh without sin, without human relations, entering the body of the Virgin like the sun shining through the clearest crystal. The sun does not damage the glass by entering it, nor was the Virgin's virginity lost when I took my human nature. I took flesh but without surrendering my divinity. I was no less God, ruling and filling all things with the Father and the Holy Spirit, although I, with my human nature, was in the womb of the Virgin. Brightness is never separated from fire, nor was my divinity ever separated from my humanity, not even in death. Next I willed for my pure and sinless body to be wounded from the sole of my foot to the crown of my head for the sins of all men, and to be hung on the cross. It is now offered each day on the altar in order that people might love me more and call to mind my favors more frequently.

Now, however, I am totally forgotten, neglected and scorned, like a king cast out of his own kingdom in whose place a wicked thief has been elected and honored. I wanted my kingdom to be within the human person, and by right I should be king and lord over him, since I made him and redeemed him. Now, however, he has broken and profaned the faith he promised me at baptism. He has violated and rejected the laws I set up for him. He loves his self-will and scornfully refuses to listen to me. Besides, he exalts that most wicked thief, the devil, above me and pledges him his faith. The devil really is a thief, since, by evil temptations and false promises, he steals for himself the human soul that I redeemed with my own blood. It is not because he is more powerful, as it were, than I am that he is able to steal it, since I am so powerful that I can do all things by a single word, and I am so just that I would not commit the least injustice, not even if all the saints asked me to. However, since man, who has been given free will, voluntarily scorns my commandments and consents to the devil, then it is only just that he should also experience the devil's tyranny. The devil was created good by me but fell through his own wicked will and has, as it were, become my servant for inflicting retribution on the wicked. Although I am now so despised, nevertheless I am still so merciful that I will forgive the sins of any who ask for my mercy and who humble themselves, and I shall free them from the evil thief. But I shall visit my justice upon those who persist in holding me in contempt, and hearing it they will tremble and those who experience it will say: 'Alas, that we were ever born or conceived, alas, that we ever provoked the Lord of majesty to wrath!' (The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book One – Chapter 1)
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