• Sarah Raad


“…Give Me your sins!... In order that I may pardon them all.”

Baby Jesus (Gary Longordo)

Saint Jerome, who died in 420AD, is the person responsible for translating the Bible from its original languages into Latin. I recently read a very beautiful story that was written about this Saint.

Saint Jerome received an apparition of the Divine Infant Jesus one day, as he was meditating upon the mystery of the first Christmas.

During the apparition, Christ asked Saint Jerome, “What are you going to give Me for My Birthday?”

Saint Jerome replied, “I give You my heart.”

The Infant Jesus responded, “That is very good, but give Me something else.”

Saint Jerome answered, “I give You my prayers and all my heart's affections.”

The Divine Child said, “That also is good, but give Me something else.”

Saint Jerome replied, “I give you all that I have and all that I possess.”

But still the Child Jesus asked for more, “Very good. But, I desire that you give Me still something more.”

Saint Jerome was perplexed. “But, Divine Infant, I have nothing, what do You desire me to give You?”

“Jerome,” said the Divine Child, “give Me your sins!... In order that I may pardon them all.”

And I have been thinking about this paradoxical action of the innocent Child Jesus taking the corruption of the world onto Himself, even during his Divine Childhood – for that is what the Incarnation actually ensured!

You see, what that really means is that every word, act and deed of violence, lust, greed, corruption and filth was TAKEN by the Infant Jesus. I inflicted that on Him...

And that is a startling realisation. After all, it is one thing to visualise a grown man – albeit the PERFECT GOD MAN – taking on the corruption of the world, but it is something altogether more terrible to visualise the infliction of all this filth on the DIVINE CHILD, on the BABY JESUS asleep in the manger…

And when I visualised that the other day, I could not hold my tears. For who could bear to harm an innocent little baby? And yet – not only did we harm our God – but we harmed Him in His infinitely GENTLE state – even when He was a BABE!

You see, every time we see an innocent child suffering because of the corruption of an adult and the corruption of our world, we must know that the Christ Child – the PERFECT DIVINE INNOCENT – suffered first…

And that thought is sobering to say the least…

And yet, despite what we did to Him, Scott Hahn tells us in his book, “Joy to the World”, that Christ made His Holy Family so that WE could have a family too and “…in time He (Christ) made way for another child who needed love – and that child was you – and that child was me. He grew and redeemed us so that He could welcome us into the life He lived here on earth. He welcomed us into the very family He created for Himself.”

And it is this divine and infinite generosity that allows us here on earth to share in the Communion of Saints through the human representation of that magnificence – as we PRAY TOGETHER. When we ask others to pray with us, we reach out to other souls to help us to carry our crosses, and we become ative members of the Communion of Saints.

And perhaps the greatest and most miraculous gift of all creation is that God allows us to use the terrible crosses that we are asked to carry – which are a consequence of our fallen nature – for the glorious purpose in GIVING HIM GLORY! You see, ours is an awesome God, who is King of Endless Glory, and in His perfect magnificence He provides us with the honour of having another reason to speak to His infinitely merciful heart through prayers such as these, when all we deserve is the fiery pits of Hell!

And it is through such magnificence as this that I can grow closer to my Beloved… For I can be an innkeeper, just as there was an innkeeper during that first Christmas upon which Saint Jerome reflected. We are all innkeepers now…

And it is up to each of us to decide if we have room for Christ in our inn.

It is up to us…

For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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