“Gift better than himself God doth not know,

Gift better than his God no man can see.

This gift doth here the giver given bestow,

Gift to this gift let each receiver be.

God is my gift, himself he freely gave me;

God’s gift am I, and none but God shall have me.”

(St Robert Southwell, SJ. Poet and martyr)



“She brought forth a son, her first-born,

   whom she wrapped in his swaddling-clothes,

   and laid in a manger,

   because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Lk 2:7)



“They found the Child there,

with his mother Mary,

and fell down to worship him;

and opening their store of treasures,

they offered him gifts,

of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” (Mt 2:11)


“Shall I play for you?” (Little Drummer Boy)



“The Kingdom of Heaven is beyond price,

   and yet it costs what you have to give…

It cost Peter and Andrew the price of a boat and some nets.

It cost the widow two little coins….”

(St Gregory the great, Homily 5 on the Gospels)


“You are attracted by the color and smell

   of the flowers by the wayside,

   by the birds of the air;

   by all creatures.

My poor son: it is quite reasonable.

For if you were not fascinated by it all,

   what sacrifice would you be able to offer our Lord?”

(St Josemaría, Furrow, 294)



“’I have chosen you:

   and appointed you,

   that you should go, and should bring forth fruit;

   and your fruit should remain:

   that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name,

   he may give it to you’ (Jn 15:16).

In other words, …

our Lord has chosen you

   to do something which he could do ever so much better himself—

   per se et per alium—

   because he wants you to have the benefit of it,

   and because he wants you for his special friend. …

His choice of you and me …

   arises from his desire to make us his friends for all eternity. …

Consequently, no matter what fruit we gather for him …

   if we do not give him our friendship,

   we fail him, we let him down. …”

(E Boylan, The Spiritual Life of the Priest, 13)

“No matter what may be our success in the harvest-field,

   no matter how much fruit we have gathered for him,

he will not be content with that alone.

In fact, he has no need of our services.

He has many other instruments that he could use for his work

   if he so wished.” (E Boylan, The Spiritual Life of the Priest, 12)


“The Lord knows full well that giving is a vital need for those in love,

and he himself points out what he desire from us.

He does not care for riches,

   nor for the fruits or the beasts of the earth

   nor for the sea or the air,

because they all belong to him.

He wants something intimate,

which we have to give him freely:

‘My son, give me your heart.’ (Prov 23:26)

Do you see? God is not satisfied with sharing.

He wants it all.

It’s not our things he wants.

It is ourselves.

It is only when we give ourselves

   that we can offer other gifts to our Lord.”

(St Josemaría, Christ is Passing By, 35)



“A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord,

   and has the Lord for his hope.

He is like a tree by the waterside

   that thrusts its roots to the stream:

when the heat comes it feels no alarm;

its foliage stays green;

it has no worries in a year of drought

and never ceases to bear fruit.” (Jer 17:7-8)


“Truly I say to you,

   there is no man who has left

   house or wife or brothers or parents or children

   for the sake of the Kingdom of God,

who will not receive manifold more in this time,

and in the age to come eternal life.” (Lk 18:28-30)



“To be able to love truly

   it is important to be detached from everything

  and, especially, from self,

      to [be able to] give gratuitously….

This detachment from self is the source of a balanced personality.

It is the secret of happiness.” (John Paul II, 1 June 1980)


C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\RETREAT\crt_11Nativity&Detachment.rtf

Revised 24  March 2005