Mother Angelica, widely known as the founder of EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), also founded a monastery and shrine near Hanceville, Alabama, called the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
It has grown over the years to include various chapels that have particular devotional themes. One of those is a large Nativity scene.
What’s unique about this Nativity scene is that it is open all year round by special request from Mother Angelica.
Fr. Joseph Wolfe explained in an interview for the The Cullman Tribune why she insisted on it.
(Mother Angelica) wanted, all year round, that there would be a life-size Nativity scene so that we could always reflect on the incarnation. And again, the incarnation: with our human logic, our calculations, what’s-in-it-for-me kind of mentality, we can’t understand God doing such a thing. But if we think with the logic of love, like a Mother Teresa spending her life picking up the destitute out of the gutters, where does that love come from to do something like that?
Mother Angelica believed the great mystery of the incarnation reveals the love God has for us in a unique way.
Furthermore, she saw a connection between the Nativity and the Eucharist, especially how Jesus comes to us every day in the celebration of Mass.
Sister Marie St. John explained that as well in an interview posted on Al.com.
[Mother Angelica] said, “We are keeping this thing open year-round because Jesus became flesh for you every day, not just at Christmas.”
The Nativity scene is also a way to reflect on the incomprehensible humility of God.
Not only did God became a man, he became a child…You just can’t fathom the mystery. God came down. Jesus comes to heal our wounds and dry our tears. We just have to allow him to do that. Each Christmas is an opportunity to do that.
Mother Angelica challenges us to extend the spirit of Christmas throughout the entire year and not limit it to the Christmas season.
Here is a video of Mother Angelica reflecting on the beauty of Christmas and how we can give a gift to the Child Jesus.
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