Saturday, December 24, 2016

Thankfulness for Christ's Being Made Man

From the devout writings of John Kettlewell, Anglican clergyman and Nonjuror (1653-1695):

What am I, dear Lord, that thou shouldst leave the right hand of God, and come to visit me? Hadst thou no ease in thy own breast so long as I lay plunged in misery? How camest thou, being so highly exalted, and the eternal Son of God, to have any affectionate concern at all for me? Was I not a deformed, polluted wretch, and thy professed enemy? And was not either of these to turn away thy face from me? But if, notwithstanding all this, thy overflowing goodness would put thee upon doing something for my sake; why must thou come thyself upon earth, and be subject to the miseries of human nature, and to the affronts of an ungrateful world, to bleed and die to redeem me? How unfathomable is thy grace, and what an unsearchable depth of love is this, which thou hast opened to us! O! how happy do I think myself in it, and how doth my heart rejoice at the remembrance of it! Lord! I love thee dearly, and long to love thee more: would I had the heart of the seraphim, that I might be all over love, and feel my soul affected to that degree which I desire, and thou infinitely deservest of me: I wish no greater pleasure than to be found perfect in thy love, and to have thee so dear to me, that I may contemn all the gilded vanities and allurements of this world at the thoughts of it. O! that thou wouldest fill me, if that might be, with an affection full and absolute, like thy own, that so I might love thee infinitely, as I am beloved by thee. At least possess me with such a sense of thy love, and such thankfulness for all thy favours, as is somewhat worthy of thee: though should I offer the utmost acknowledgments, which the most affected and enlarged heart can pay, I should not give thee the thousandth part of what I owe thee. Let all the angels adore thy glorious goodness, and all the sons of men, so long as they have a tongue to speak, set forth thy noble praise; for thou, O sweetest Jesu, art the Son of the Blessed, the joy and glory of the world, the Lamb of God, the Saviour of Mankind, who was slain for our sakes, and art alive again, and sittest now for ever at the right hand of power, in the glory of the Father, that angels may submit to thee, and all the world may worship thee, and praise thy goodness, power, and glory, to all eternity. Amen.

A very blessed and holy Christmas to all, with ardent prayers for the good estate of the whole Church, that the Lord may grant her speedy and complete deliverance from the unhappy cause of all her recent trials, that his Virgin Mother's Immaculate Heart may triumph.

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