By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Approach with me the crib of the Child God.
As we draw closer to our God, imagine the mercy of the Child Jesus. This divine mercy is most evident when He seeks our good and discerns what is good and bad in us. In His mercy, the Child God considers the miserable condition of every man traveling through this vale of tears.
The mercy of Christ analyzes the sorrow and suffering that each of us brings along — past, present and future suffering. The grief and sorrow that you may feel at this very moment. He already knows all of this because He is God. And He also sees the risk that our souls run of going to hell. As Catholics, we know that on his earthly journey man is exposed to the very real danger of losing his soul for all eternity.
Also, imagine the Child Jesus looking at Purgatory and the torments that await us there if we are not entirely faithful.
His Face now shows a look of sympathy and deep participation in our pain; a desire to remove that pain as much as possible in view of our sanctification. In His infinite mercy, this Infant desires to give us the strength to withstand whatever pain is necessary for our sanctification.
In Him, we see that which so greatly consoles the human soul: perfect compassion.
It is part of our human nature for us, when we are suffering, to feel consoled at seeing that someone has pity on us. Compassion thus lessens suffering by sharing in it. Man is made in such a way that when he is happy and communicates his joy, that joy is doubled; and when he is sad and communicates that sadness, the sorrow is divided.
So also are we made stronger when we discern in the face of the Child God that most perfect compassion.
In all the sufferings of our life, when the cup to drink is very bitter, we should repeat, through Our Lady, His prayer: “My Father, if possible, move this cup away from me, but let Your will be done, and not mine.”
At any time we can ask that the pain cease. However, if it is His will that we drink from a bitter cup as He did, we are certain that our pain will find His compassion. In addition, He will tell us: “My son, I am suffering with you! Let us suffer together, for I suffered for you; a moment will come when you will forever participate in My joy.” And we can be sure that the compassionate gaze of Jesus will not leave us a single moment of our existence.