The Divine Child


In “The Divine Life of the Most Holy Virgin”, taken from “The Mystical City of God”, Venerable Mary of Agreda devotes Chapter 11 to the journey to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus.  In this excerpt we pick up the story, as revealed to Venerable Mary of Agreda, after Joseph and Mary have found shelter in the grotto where animals were lodged:

As the night was cold, St. Joseph kindled a fire, after which they took some slight nourishment, and with great interior devotion passed some time in holy conversation.  Then the Blessed Virgin begged St. Joseph to take a little respose, while he, on his part, asked her to do the same.  He prepared and arranged a place for her by covering with some clothes the manger which was in the grotto; then he retired into an obscure corner and began to pray.  Almost immediately he was rapt in sublime ecstasy, during which he beheld all the wonderful events which happened on this night.

In the meantime the Holy Virgin was raised to a state of high contemplation, in which she intuitively beheld the Divinity in a manner so ineffable that human tongue cannot express it.  This ecstasy continued during the hour immediately preceding the birth of Our Lord.  Coming to herself, she felt that the Divine Child began to move in her womb; this motion caused her no pain, but, on the contrary, such inexpressible joy, with effects so supernatural and sublime that the human understanding is incapable of comprehending them.  Her body became so beautiful and her face so resplendent that she seemed no longer like a creature of earth.  She was on her knees, her eyes raised towards Heaven, and her hands crossed upon her breast.

In this humble and pious posture, returning to herself out of her ecstasy, she gave birth to the only Son of the Eternal Father, who was also her own Son – Jesus Christ, our Saviour, both God and Man.  This glorious event happened at midnight, and on Sunday, according to the teaching of the Roman Church.

The Divine Child came into the world most beautiful and resplendent, without detriment to the holy virginity of Mary, for He passed through her virginal womb like a ray of the sun.

His body was glorious and transfigured, for the glory of His soul was reflected on it.  Immediately after His birth, the Archangels Michael and Gabriel [in corporeal form], taking Him in their arms, showed Him to the Holy Mother in the same manner as the priest exposes the Sacred Host to the adoration of the faithful… 

The Divine Life of the Most Holy Virgin, pgs. 80-81


5 Responses

  1. Lovely.

    Mysterious beauty, beautiful mystery.

  2. Carol, yes. I was very happy to read this recently about the actual birth, because it confirmed an awareness I was given of this when I was in elementary school. It came to me during art time before Christmas, but I understood it obscurely, and had no one to talk to about it. This is the first description of the birth I’ve ever come across.

    Something happened last night too, regarding this post. I was wondering what to use as a title for the post, and after about twenty seconds decided it would be “The Divine Child”. A little while later I was watching a video which had nothing whatsoever to do with the nativity or even anything Catholic for that matter, but out of nowhere the woman in the video said, “The union of the divine masculine with the divine feminine gives birth to the divine child.” I think the Lord might be wanting me to meditate on that more deeply.

  3. I don’t mean to say I am thinking about Mary as the “divine feminine” of the new-agers; I’m thinking about the actual, factual nativity being a means of expressing the birth of Jesus in our souls. Especially when we are consecrated to Mary, we are told the Holy Spirit will come to us more profoundly, and we are told that Mary will form Jesus within us. When do we birth Jesus? And just thinking about Mary being spouse of the Holy Spirit and Mother of God – we give birth to Jesus yet also desire to love Him enough that we will someday be His spouse…the more I ponder all of this, it just keeps leading to the Holy Trinity.

  4. I keep coming over here to parse your two comments. I don’t know what I want to say; I think I’m befuddled. But I also think the above is working as a leavening. I just didn’t want you to think it had gone unnoticed. That, it surely has not.

  5. Carol, I have just posted something that I found very helpful. I have been reading Meister Eckhart, and that is how I came across it.

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