Christmas: Condescension of Infinite Majesty!
O Nativity of spotless sanctity! O birth honorable for the world, birth pleasing and welcome to men, because of the magnificence of the benefit it bestows; birth incomprehensible to the angels, by reason of the depth and sacredness of the mystery! In all its circumstances it is wonderful because of its singular excellence and novelty. Its precedent has not been known, nor has its like ever followed. Birth alone without sorrow, alone without shame, free from corruption, not unlocking, but consecrating the temple of the Virgins womb! Nativity above nature, yet for the sake of nature! Surpassing it by the excellence of the miracle, repairing it by the virtue of the mystery! Who shall declare this generation? The angel announces it. Almighty Power overshadows it. The Spirit of the Most High comes upon it. The Virgin believes. By faith she conceives. The Virgin brings forth. The Virgin remains a virgin. Who is not filled with astonishment? The Son of the Most High is born. The Son, begotten of God before all ages, is Incarnate! The Word is become an Infant! Who can sufficiently admire?
And it is not a needless Nativity, a superfluous condescension of Infinite Majesty.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is born in Bethlehem of Judah.
Awake, you who lie in the dust awake and give praise. Behold, the Lord cometh with salvation. He comes with salvation, He comes with unction, He comes with glory. Jesus cannot come without salvation, Christ cannot come without unction, nor the Son of God without glory. For He Himself is salvation, He is unction, He is glory.
-St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), On the Vigil of our Lord’s Nativity