Each feast has its special grace. The grace of Christmas is first and foremost that of holy poverty, being divested of all created goods. Our Blessed Lord, the Master of the Universe and its Creator, had all things at His disposal, and yet He chose to put Himself in a position where created goods would be lacking, painfully lacking. This is something we must never tire of contemplating, as it is the very foundation and model of all religious poverty and detachment.
Like everyone else, religious need a house, clothes, food and many other things for the good functioning of a community. But none of these things can they claim as a right, as a due. The monk makes it his business, his duty, his privilege, to be detached from all things, from the greatest to the smallest, for his heart is attached to God alone.
My dear sons, on this most sacred and solemn feast, let us beg the newborn King that He deign to lift His tiny hand in blessing over us and over all who will come here in the future, that His blessing be one of poverty and detachment. A house founded on the wood of the crib and the cross has an assured future. Our community is destined to grow, to dig roots and foundations, to produce a number of goods, both spiritual and material, for others, but through it all, if we do not have and maintain that spirit of Bethlehem, if we do not love to be deprived of things, of all things, then we can never really have a place in the heart of the Infant of Bethlehem. And how could we? We would be holding onto things which He despises. Let us love what the world abhors, and abhor what it loves.
With Mary Immaculate, let us ponder with lingering love and delight the extreme poverty of the Son of God, and let us ever be convinced that the nothingness and emptiness of creatures can, alone, make for the fullness of God in us.