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The Shepherds at the Manger of Jesus Christ

Again with Bossuet’s Elevations on the Mysteries, XV-XI:

After the song of the Angels, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us. And they came with haste: and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.  See this about the Saviour which was announced to us! Alas! What sign will let us know him! The sign of poverty which had nothing like it! No, we should not be full of our misery; we prefer our cabins to the palace of Kings; we live happy under our thatch; and too glorious to carry the character of the King of Kings. Let us go and above all spread this happy news; let us go above all to console the poor in telling them the marvels which we have seen. As God has prepared the way by his Gospel! Each was stunned to hear this beautiful account from these innocent and rustic mouths. If it were from celebrities, the Pharisees or Doctors of the Law, which told of these marvels, the world would easily believe that they had seen them make a name for themselves by their sublime visions. But who dreams of contradicting simple shepherds in their naïve and sincere account? The fullness of their joy breaks out naturally and their discourse is without artifice. Such testimonies are necessary to him who opted to choose fishermen to be his first disciples and the future teachers of his Church. All is, to say so, of the same adornment in the mysteries of Jesus Christ. Let us attempt to save the poor and to make them taste the grace of their state. Let us humble the rich of the world and confound their pride. If we lack something, and who doesn’t lack something? let us love, worship, kiss this character of Jesus Christ. Let us not wish to be rich; for what will we gain? for after all, when we will have piled up dignity on dignity, land on land, treasures on treasures, we must detach, we must lose the taste, we must be ready to lose all, if we want to be Christians.


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