The Infant in the Snow

St. Alphonsus Liguori relates how, one Christmas night, there was a certain holy monk of Brabant (part of modern day Belgium and the Netherlands) who was passing through a dense, cold forest. He was thinking about how good and loving God was to send His Own beloved Son Jesus to be born on that very day for us so many years ago. Suddenly, the monk’s holy thoughts were interrupted by an unusual noise which broke the silence of the winter night. Strangely enough, he thought he heard the cries of a newly born child. He paused and listened. Yes, there was no mistake. Faint little wailings could be heard, and they were coming from some place not far off.

“A child lost in the depths of these cold woods?” he thought to himself. “But those cries seem more like those of an infant!”

Searching for the source of these sounds, the anxious religious passed quickly between the trees. Growing nearer, he now was certain that someone else was in the forest. Stopping short, he discovered - to his confusion and surprise - a beautiful infant lying in the snow.

As he approached closer to the weeping newborn, he saw that the baby was shivering in the freezing snow. The mournful cries of the abandoned child pierced the monk’s heart. He was nearly overwhelmed by such a tragic sight. Filled with compassion for the poor infant, the broken-hearted monk said aloud, “My little child, how is it that you are left alone like this, lying on the cold snow? Who could be so cruel as to leave you here alone?”

The monk's grief was abruptly transformed into amazement - because the tiny infant suddenly spoke. Burning tears streamed down His small face, as He wept:

“How can I help crying when I see Myself abandoned by everyone? When I see that nobody receives Me or has pity for Me?” Then, the mysterious Child disappeared.

The holy man gazed in astonishment. Glancing about the empty woods, he was now alone. Amazing as it was, he realized what had just happened. In those snow covered woods that Christmas night, the Child that the monk had seen was none Other than Jesus Christ Himself.

The words of the heartbroken Infant came back to the monk's mind. To his sorrow, he understood the pain that poor Jesus feels so consistently... and especially on Christmas, when nearly everyone forgets Him.

Tragically, so many people - the very same people that Jesus came down from Heaven to save - do not love Him or receive Him with joy. They do not make any room for Him in their hearts. Instead, they cast Him out - of their minds, their hearts, and their lives. Like the inhabitants of Bethlehem that very first Christmas, people turn Jesus away - and leave Him abandoned to feel the cold of their neglect and rejection. He loves so much, yet He is loved so little - and He is not even given one word of pity as He weeps in pain from the suffering caused by this rejection.

When Christmas comes, you at least can remember Jesus. You can save Him from the freezing cold, and give Him a warm place in your heart. Ask His blessed Mother Mary, Who first pressed Him to Her heart on that cold winter night, to show you how to comfort and shelter Her Son; to love Him as He desires and deserves to be loved; and to help repair for all the love and gratitude that so many others should be giving Him - but do not.

With Her help and God’s grace, you can make Jesus’ Birthday a special, happy one! And remember that it must not end there! Jesus being born for you was just the beginning of Him showing His love for you. Pray every day for the grace to daily prove, and improve, your love for Him. This way, the spirit of Christmas will remain and live in your heart throughout the whole year, and for the rest of your life!