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Retreat on the Credo

Simple Faith

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

After the angels had told the shepherds of the good news of great joy and further told them that they would find this Messiah, the Lord, lying in a manger, they took the angels at their word. They were simple people. Simple people don't speculate. Once they trust you they take your word. So they went and they found not surprisingly just what they had been told. What a strange sign the angels gave the shepherds: a Child born in a stable and lying in an animal's trough. That's the way God came into the world.

The first thunderous lesson of Bethlehem is poverty. Whatever else God wants us to believe it is that our treasures are not in this world. The second great lesson is the way Mary acted. Notice, whatever she said - and I can't imagine she didn't say something - but the words are not recorded. In the presence of God the only response of a creature is silent adoration. This is the world's greatest mystic. She reflected on what the angels told her. She did not understand anymore than the shepherds did exactly how it is possible for the Almighty to be a Child. Silent, reverent, believing faith. In a world that has gone mad, drunk with its own knowledge, drugged by its own vaunted wisdom, humble, believing, simple faith.

Let's ask our Lady for something of her experience on the first Christmas Day. Let's ask her for a share in her faith. She didn't see, she had to believe. But she did. Let's ask her for something of her deep quiet trust in God. All that she knew the prophets she had read told her that since this is the Messiah come into the world - she knew Isaiah - He's going to suffer and His mother with Him. Serene, calm, trust. Above all let's ask our Lady for her deep love of the Child she gave birth to, believing, like her, that that Child is our God.

Conference transcription from a retreat
that Father Hardon gave in December, 1980 to the
Handmaids of the Precious Blood

Copyright © 1998 by Inter Mirifica
No reproductions shall be made without prior written permission.

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