Dear Friends,

Praised be the name of Jesus!

I found the reflection below to be an inspiring reminder of what the gift of our Lord Jesus’s Incarnation means. I pray it is a blessing to you as well.

In Christ,
Fr. McGuire

The Incarnation

We know what the Incarnation means to us, that God the Son, by becoming man, caught up our human nature into his, made each one of us one with him. He took our human nature for his own and gave us his. He experienced everything that we do, excepting sin, and he even took upon himself the guilt and punishment of sin.

He made himself subject to our limitations: to discomfort, poverty, hunger and thirst, and pain. He knew fear, temptation, and failure. He suffered loneliness, betrayal, unrequited love, utter desolation of spirit, the sense of despair, and death. He suffered all these things, and all the secret, incommunicable things known to each individual, which can never be told; and he overcame them all.

He overcame even death, and came back to the world bringing it life and peace and joy.

Christ seems to have fallen in love with our suffering, so passionately has he laid hold of it and made it his. He is known to the whole world as the Man of Sorrows. Yet he came to give us life, life full of joy. It was not with our suffering that Christ fell in love, but with us. He identified himself so wholly with our suffering, because our lives are necessarily made up of it. It is the inescapable consequence of sin. No one can escape it; everyone must somehow either make friends with suffering or be broken by it. No one can come close to another, let alone love him, without coming close to his suffering. Christ did far more, he wed himself to our suffering, he made Death his bride, and in the consummation of his love, he gave her his life. Christ has lived each of our lives, he has faced all our fears, suffered all our griefs, overcome all our temptations, labored in all our labors, loved in all our loves, died all our deaths.

He took our humanity, just as it is, with all its wretchedness and ugliness, and gave it back to us just as his humanity is, transfigured by the beauty of his living, filled full of his joy.

Caryll Houselander

Caryll Houselander († 1954) was a British mystic, poet, and spiritual teacher.