Humility is to know oneself.

But it is not enough. Knowledge of self may lead to existential despair.

There is a need to know God.

There is a need for faith.

Cum enim infirmor, tunc potens sum.” (II Cor 12:10)



“And this was the manner of Christ’s birth.

His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph,

but they had not yet come together,

   when she was found to be with child,

  by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Whereupon her husband Joseph

   (for he was a right-minded man,

   and would not have her put to open shame)

   was for sending her away in secret. [HOW? WHY? WHAT NOW?]

But hardly had this thought come to his mind,

   when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream,

   and said,

‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take thy wife Mary to thyself…’”

(Mt 1:18-20)


How? By the Holy Spirit (v 20)

Why? To fulfill the prophecy (v 22)

What now? Bear a Son, call him Jesus [v 21]



“And Joseph awoke from sleep,

   and did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him.”

(Mt 1:24)


Taking the child to Egypt.

“He rose up, therefore,

   while it was still night,

   and took the child and his mother with him,

   and withdrew into Egypt…” (Mt 2:14)


Back to Israel

“So he arose,

   and took the child and his mother with him,

   and came into the land of Israel …

withdrew into the region of Galilee.” (Mt 2:21,22)



“Now the LORD said to Abram,

‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house

   to the land that I will show you.

And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you,

   and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse.’”

(Gen 12:1-3)


“So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.

Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.”

(Gen 12:4)


“Then the LORD appeared to Abram, and said

‘To your descendants I will give this land.’” (Gen 12:7)


“Now there was a famine in the land.” (Gen 12:10)


Egypt (Gen 12:10)

Back to Canaan. (Gen 13:3)


“’Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’

But Abram said,

   ‘O LORD God, what wilt thou give me, for I continue childless…?’

‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars …

So shall your descendants be.’

And he believed the LORD.” (Gen 15:1,2,5)


“When Abram was ninety-nine years old …

‘I … will multiply you exceedingly….

   the father of a multitude of nations. …

   exceedingly fruitful…

   will make nations of you….’” (Gen 17:1,2,3,4,5,6)


“And Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son.” (Gen 21:2)


One more test.

“’Take your son,

your only son Isaac,

   whom you love,

and go to the land of Moriah,

and offer him there as a burnt offering

   upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.’” (Gen 22:2)


“’My father!’

‘Here am I, my son.’

‘Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb…?’

‘God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.’”

(Gen 22:7,8)



“What is faith?

It is that which gives substance to our hopes,

which convinces us of things we cannot see.

It was this that brought credit to the men who went before us.”

(Heb 11:1-3. See the whole chapter)

“I could not wait till things seemed possible.” (St Josemaría)

Adverse circumstances vs favorable ones.

Opposition vs support.

“We are long distance runners; others are sprinters.”


“Man proposes, God disposes.”


“Something good will come out of this.” (Bishop Alvaro del Portillo)


John Paul II and

   Papal trips

   Lent and Advent Masses

   World Youth Days



“Believe me when I tell you this,

you will weep and lament while the world rejoices;

you will be distressed,

but your distress shall be turned into joy.

A woman in childbirth feels distress, because now her time has come;

but when she has borne her child,

   she does not remember the distress any longer,

   so glad is she that a man has been born into the world.

So it is with you,

   you are distressed now;

but one day I will see you again,

   and then your hearts will be glad;

and your gladness will be one which nobody can take away from you.

When that day comes

   you will not need to ask anything of me.

Believe me, you have only to make any request of the Father in my name,

   and he will grant it to you.” (Jn 16:20-23)


C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\RETREAT\crt_10Nativity&Faith.rtf

Revised 24 March 2005