What could be in the mind of God, that He would come to live with His creation…subject Himself to it? That He would be born as a helpless baby in poverty?
Love. Just Love.
We have such issues with this word love. We all want it. We feel it inside and it can overwhelm our bodies with feelings of warmth and joy. We all long to give it. Why then, is love so confusing?
Because it is so hard to accept what love really is: a gift of Self.
In my previous post on love I tried to convey that learning to love others begins by loving your Self, and that the essence of God is God’s own love for Himself, in the Son, through the Holy Spirit. In the Christmas season we celebrate the greatest gift of this divine love — God made man, Love Incarnate — Jesus. God’s gift of Himself to humanity begins as a helpless baby, and not only that, He was born to die. Does this seem crazy? Indeed it does…even St. Paul, speaking of the Cross, said as much: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor 1:25).
We can give ourselves love by gentleness with our mistakes, and compassion to our weakest parts. The fruits of the Holy Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal 5:22-23) — are born and nourished in ourselves and towards ourselves, in freedom. The fruit ripens in our actions towards others. And what happens when the ripe fruit falls to the ground (in humility)? The seeds are then planted for new fruit.
It is one of the paradoxes of the Christian faith that we gain all things by giving ourselves away. Jesus, born in our hearts, shows us the way.