Luke 2:7: ‘And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped Him in bands of cloth, and laid Him in a manger, because there was non place for them in the inn.’
But why focus on the sufferings that Mary, Joseph, and Jesus endured?
Padre Pio’s assurance: ‘Wouldn’t you have chosen to be in that dark stable filled with the cries of the little child, rather than beside yourself with joy, with the shepherds at this sweet heavenly melody and the beauty of this admirable splendor? Yes…’
‘You are nowhere but close to the infant Jesus, trembling with cold in the stable of Bethlehem. You are on Calvary with the Martyrs, where you see nothing but death, nails, thorns, powerlessness, extraordinary darkness, abandonment, and dereliction. Therefore, I bed you to love the crib of the child of Bethlehem; love the Calvary of God crucified amidst the darkness; stay close to Him and know that Jesus is in the midst of your hearts more than you could believe or imagines.’
‘May the heavenly child always be at the center of your heart. May He sustain it, enlighten it, inspire it, and transform it to His eternal charity.’
Infant Jesus, dwell in my heart; keep me close to You in your suffering, so that I can embrace my own and help others to bear theirs. Amen.
-Padre Pio's Words of Hope