I. Contemplate the child Jesus in the stable in Bethlehem. O, what marvel of love for the entire world and all heaven to see, to witness the infinite God in the form of a humble child, crying, weeping and shivering with cold in a lowly manger! O, how that beautiful child wins the love of men and angels! O, how powerfully He draws all souls towards His love! By virtue of love then, unite your heart to the Heart of the child Jesus, and live with Him always; but how? you ask. By practising beautiful Christian simplicity, for Jesus said, “Unless you become like a little child you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” And so He Himself, O, infinite condescension, became a child, giving us an example of that simplicity that He asks of us, if we are to have paradise.
Therefore, O Christian, be simple, become a child together with that heavenly child. May your heart be far from all worldly worries and all desires of the flesh and may you not fall back into them. May your mind be pure in its thoughts, always just and right in its ideas and always holy in its intentions. May you always speak sincerely, never lying or being duplicitous, and with the correct Christian prudence, so that your heart may be in your speech and sincerity in your heart. May you seek to do nothing other than what God wishes, what pleases Him and what gives Him glory. May your behaviour be far from all worldly affectation, may it be honest and good. So, in the words of St Paul, you will be a child of God in the midst of a corrupt and depraved generation, and God who loves to be one with simple souls, will enrich you with His light and blessings!
II. Contemplate Jesus, who lived a hidden life for thirty years in the village of Nazareth. Where were His infinite majesty and greatness? Where His wisdom, light and infinite glory? All was hidden in the shadows and silence of that tiny hamlet. The omnipotent hands that made the heavens and the earth were occupied by simple work, and the world saw Him as just the son of a carpenter. Become one with the young Jesus then and begin an inner life hidden in God. Do not allow yourself to be enticed or trapped by any exterior thing, stay close to that infinite goodness that is the divine Heart, determined to live quietly united to Jesus, until living without Him seems impossible, as impossible as to live without light or air.
Always have Jesus Christ in your mind, Jesus Christ in your heart and Jesus Christ before your eyes, for He is your beginning, your middle and your end, and so your life must be in Him. Be happy only with Him, thinking nothing of the greatness and honour the world offers, which all passes away. What a blessing for you, if you are able to live hidden with the Heart of Jesus! Even were you poor, despised and suffering in the eyes of the world, before God you would be a royal bride, ineffably glorious and beautiful.
III. Contemplate Jesus, who for three years walked the paths of Palestine showering blessings and working miracles, illuminating and consoling the people. He, infinite wisdom and truth, teaches you through His public ministry, the way to conduct all your actions. He did all things well, ‘bene omnia fecit’, these words are the praise of the Holy Spirit for Him. And you too, unite your heart to His Heart and seek to do all things well. And do them well as a reflection of Jesus Christ. He was a man, He worked, walked, rested, ate, slept and talked, and in all these ordinary actions there was perfect love, devotion and sacrifice, and so He became the example to you and the source of all good.
Do all things well, think like Jesus Christ, love like Jesus Christ, speak with the language of Jesus Christ, see all things with the eyes of Jesus Christ, and put Jesus Christ first, allowing yourself to be led by Him in all things and behave in all things as He would. Do all things well, and take Him as a father who watches over you, as a friend who goes with you, as a teacher who corrects you, as a benefactor who favours you, and as God who judges you. Do all things well, with order, tranquillity, diligence and good intentions. Have within you that mixture of serenity and certainty, modesty, humility and sweetness that can be called Christian goodness, so that you will be able to say, as St Paul did, “I live, but it is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me, and I live in Him.”
– Mons Nicola Tafuri