Saint John Eudes - The Incomparable Goodness in the Wondrous Childhood

Updated: May 30, 2020

The only Son of God was not content to become man for our salvation, but He willed to come into this world not like Adam, in the fullness of manhood, but by way of generation, having only a Mother upon earth as He had only a Father in heaven. Now He could have created this Virgin of whom He was to be born, in the fullness of perfect age, as He did the first woman. But the excess of His bounty towards us obliged Him to use another measure, and, by passing through the state of infancy, to honor all the posterity of Adam with three marvelous advantages and three very singular privileges.

The first is, that by this birth of the glorious Virgin, the Divine Bounty has given us two great saints, Joachim and Ann, in quality of father and mother of her who is Mother of our Savior. Without them we should be bereft of these particular models of high sanctity and of their powerful intercession for us with their holy daughter Mary and their adorable son, Jesus. St. Joachim and St. Ann are two brilliant stars in the heaven of the Church which shed upon it the light of their powerful influence and salutary grace.

The second favor God has done us in causing the birth of this holy Infant is, that He has placed among the race of Adam, a Mother of God, who is also our sister and who is, at the same time, replenished with unparalleled wisdom, inconceivable goodness, and admirable power, to know how, to be willing and to be able to aid, protect, and favor us, her brothers and sisters, in all our wants and necessities.

I repeat that God has done us this great favor by the birth of this holy Infant. For had the Son of God willed to be born of a woman who was not a daughter of Adam, the Mother of God would not be one of our race, nor would she be our sister. So it is owing to the birth of this divine child Mary that we have received this incomparable favor.

We have in the birth of this marvelous Child a third advantage infinitely surpassing the two already mentioned, the possession of an infinite treasure, a Man-God Who, being of Adam’s race, is our brother. This would not have been possible had not Mary herself been a daughter of Adam.

In the light of these truths, what veneration and devotion ought we not to have for the holy Infancy of the Blessed Virgin to which we owe these three great favors?

This is not all, however, for the Son of God willed His most worthy Mother to pass through the state of infancy that this Mother might bear within herself a living image and perfect resemblance to all the states of life through which her Divine Son should pass, and that she, with her Son, in all conditions of life, might be the model and the rule of our life.

She resembled her Son in the hidden life which He led from the age of 12 to 30 years, for she followed the same manner of life with Him.

She resembled Him in His solitary and penitential life in the desert, for she too was solitary in union with Him during that time.

She resembled Him in His public life among men, for from the beginning to the end, she followed and accompanied Him everywhere.

She bore in her heart a vivid likeness to His most sorrowful and ignominious Passion.

Thus has He willed that she should embrace the lowliness, feebleness, and necessities of infancy, as H