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The Mystery of the Incarnation

December 22, 2015 by  
Filed under Advent, Dan Burke, Divine Intimacy, Meditations

The Mystery of the Incarnation

Presence of God – I place myself in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, with an ardent desire to penetrate the infinite mystery of divine love which impelled God Himself to become “one of us.”


God is Love; everything He does, both in Himself and outside of Himself, is a work of love. Being the infinite good, He cannot love anything outside of Himself from the desire of increasing His happiness, as is the case with us; in Himself He possesses all. Therefore, in God, to love, and hence to will creatures, is simply to extend, outside of Himself, His infinite good, His perfections, and to communicate to others His own Being and felicity. Bonum diffusivum sui, St. Thomas says. Thus God loved man with an eternal love and, loving him, called him into existence, giving him both natural and supernatural life. Through love, The Mystery of the Incarnation RidolfoDelGhirlandaioAnnunciazione1515caDaPieveDiSPietroAPitianaReggello02God not only brought man out of nothing, but chose him and elevated him to the state of divine sonship, destining him to participate in His own intimate life, in His eternal beatitude. This was the first plan of the immense charity of God with regard to man. But when man fell into sin, God, who had created him by an act of love, willed to redeem him by an even greater act of love. See then, how the mystery of the Incarnation presents itself to us as the supreme manifestation of God’s exceeding charity toward man. “By this hath the charity of God appeared toward us, because God hath sent His only-begotten Son into the world, that we may live by Him. In this is charity … He hath first loved us, and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). After having given man natural life, after having destined him for the supernatural life, what more could He give him than to give Himself, His Word made flesh, for his salvation?


“O my God! make me worthy to understand something of the mystery of the burning charity which is in You, which impelled You to effect the sublime act of the Incarnation, the root and source of our salvation. O ineffable Incarnation! which brings to man, with the outpouring of love, the assurance of salvation. How ineffable is this charity! Truly, there is no greater than this, that the Word was made flesh in order to make me like unto God! You became nothing in order to make me something; You clothed Yourself like the lowliest slave to give me the garments of a King and a God! Although You took the form of a slave, You did not lessen Your substance, nor injure Your divinity, but the depths of Your humility pierce my heart and make me cry out: ‘O incomprehensible One, made comprehensible because of me! O uncreated One, now created! O Thou who art inaccessible to mind and body, become palpable to thought and touch, by a prodigy of Thy power!…’

“O happy fault! not in itself, but by the power of divine mercy. O happy fault, which has disclosed the sacred, hidden depths of the abyss of love! Truly, a higher form of charity cannot be imagined…. O ineffable love! Sublime, transforming love! Blessed art Thou, O Lord, because Thou teachest me that Thou wert born for me! Oh! how glorious it is to see and feel, as I believe and feel, that Thou wert born for me! To feel this, is indeed, a delight, and the joy of joys!… O admirable God, how marvelous are Thy mercies! O uncreated God, make me worthy to know the depths of Thy love and the abyss of Thy mercy! Make me worthy to understand Thy ineffable charity, which was transmitted to us when the Father gave Jesus Christ to us in the Incarnation” (St. Angela of Foligno).

Permit me to say, O Lord, that my mind and heart are bewildered before the abyss of Your charity! It is a mystery in which I lose myself without being able to see it to its depths. Give me, O Lord, the grace to believe firmly, unshakably in Your exceeding charity; grant that I, too, may say with complete conviction: “I have known and I have believed in the charity of God for me!” The stronger my conviction, the more shall I trust wholly in Your charity, in Your infinite merciful love.

This immense charity, this ineffable mercy, by means of Your Incarnate Word, inclines over all men without distinction. You incline over me too; Your love surrounds me, nourishes me, gives me life, and brings me to You, O my God! O Lord, may Your love invade my soul; or rather, give me the grace to know and believe in that love, which from the first moment of my existence has surrounded and possessed me.


Note from Dan: This posts on the Mystery of the Incarnation is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.

Art: Annunciazione, Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, ca 1515, CCA, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Judy Silhan

    Something I had not thought about previously is contained in the second line of the meditation – ” …He cannot love anything outside of Himself from the desire of increasing His happiness…” As mortals, we desire many things to increase our happiness, sometimes, even our love. God needs nothing. Yet, He chose, out of eternal love, to will us into existence. After the fall of Adam, and the beginning of original sin, God, again, in His great love, sent His son to redeem us from this. In a few days, we will celebrate His son, Christ’s birthday. This reflection made me stop and ask myself – How willing am I to give of myself, my treasures, time, or talent, for someone else, as God loved me, in giving His only son to us, so we could attain salvation. I think it would be a great birthday present to Jesus for Him to know how many people are following in His footsteps, and sharing His love with everyone.
    Merry Christmas to Everyone at Spiritual Direction.

  • Jeanette

    In the past during prayer, the words, “I came down from Heaven for you” were impressed upon me. This year, those words come back to me again and again during Advent in all their fullness…The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, His hidden life, His ministry, His Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension…the whole gospel message, the Good News! Alleluia! May we all have a very Blessed Christmas by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus!

    • LizEst

      …and a very Blessed Christmas to you and yours, as well, Jeanette!

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