Hello, friend! I hope your Christmas was blessed and joyful. In spite of the hard times we are living in, my family has made some lovely memories. My favorite part was singing carols by candlelight. As I sang songs and read books, I copied my favorite passages into a notebook — the same notebook I have used for years. Its pages are filled with striking quotes, some of them beautiful, some of them wise, some of them simply funny. This practice, which is much older than I am, is often referred to as keeping a commonplace book. I prefer to call it my very own Collection of Thoughts.
My collection contains passages from many different authors. When I see their thoughts in the same place, on the same page, something special happens. A light is turned on, and I realize that in spite of their differences, their words are woven of much the same thread. How can this be? How is it that great minds think alike, even when separated by vast stretches of space and time?
This Christmastide, I want to share this experience with you. Here, then, is a little Collection of Thoughts, a page from my commonplace book. Read each quote by itself, and then together. Let the authors speak to each other. What are they saying?
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth . . .~ The Holy Bible, John 1:14, RSV
The Second Person in God, the Son, became human Himself: was born into the world as an actual man—a real man of a particular height, with hair of a particular colour, speaking a particular language, weighing so many stone. The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a foetus inside a Woman’s body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab.~ C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, “The Obstinate Toy Soldiers.”
A God who became so small could only be mercy and love.~ St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;~ Christina Rossetti, “In the Bleak Midwinter”1
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.
Where did these thoughts lead your mind? Which one is your favorite? Is there a quote which you would like to add to the collection? Please comment below and share! 🙂
- This is only a part of this touching Christmas carol. You can read the entire poem here or listen to my favorite version here.
Image Credit: Adoration of the Child by Gerard van Honthorst, circa 1620.