After December 25, it is easy to forget that the Christmas season has only just begun! One practice that can help keep the true spirit of Christmas alive in your heart is to begin each day with prayers that meditate on the great mystery of the Incarnation.
Dom Guéranger provides such morning prayers in his Liturgical Year, explaining that each person “should profoundly adore this dear King, who has rendered himself so accessible to his creatures; and in the disposition of loving reverence, he should perform the first acts of religion, both interior and exterior, wherewith he begins the day. [When] the time for Morning Prayer [arrives] he may use the following method, which is formed upon the very prayers of the Church.”
Besides the Our Father, Hail Mary and Apostle’s Creed, Guéranger lists the following antiphons and prayer that highlight the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.
O admirable Interchange! The Creator of mankind, assuming a living Body, deigned to be born of a Virgin; and becoming Man without man’s aid, bestowed on us his divinity.When thou wast born ineffably of the Virgin, the Scriptures were fulfilled. As dew upon Gedeon’s fleece, thou camest down to save mankind. O Lord our God! we praise thee.Lo! Mary hath brought forth a Saviour unto us, whom John seeing exclaimed: Behold the Lamb of God! Behold him that taketh away the sins of the world. Alleluia.V. The Word was made Flesh. Alleluia!R. And dwelt among us. Alleluia!LET US PRAYGrant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that as we are enlightened by the new light of thy Word made Flesh, we may show in our actions the effects of that faith that shineth in our minds. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Guéranger also suggests that in the midst of these morning prayers, our thoughts should “turn principally upon the Birth of Jesus Christ in our souls. At this period of the Liturgical Year, we must return to the very basis of our spiritual life, and yield, with childlike docility, to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. The object of our contemplation, as well as the source of our confidence, is Jesus, the Incarnate Word, swathed in the bands of infancy, laid in his Crib, presented in the Temple, and fleeing into Egypt. His love for us has induced him to subject himself to these weaknesses of childhood, in order that even we may imitate our God! St. Luke tells us that his Blessed Mother kept all these mysteries in her heart, and pondered them [St. Luke i 19,51]: let us follow her sweet example, and feed our souls with the heavenly Manna. Let the rays of this hidden but penetrating Light illumine us.”
Once the presents are all put away, don’t forget about Christmas! Now is the time to deepen our faith in God and rouse within us a lasting love of him who became one of us.
When Padre Pio celebrated Christmas the baby Jesus would miraculously appear