Taken from Practical Aids for Catholic Teachers
When Jesus was born, His dear Mother wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and
laid Him in a manger. What is a manger? Many of you have never seen a real
manger. Have you ever been in the country to visit your uncle or aunt on the
farm? If you were, you have probably been in the stable and noticed that the
cows and horses have their food put in a sort of box. This box is either nailed
to the wall or stands on legs like a table. This is what is called a manger or
crib. Now in the stable in which Jesus was born, there was, of course, no bed.
So the Blessed Mother laid the little Infant in the crib or manger. There was
some hay or straw in this manger, for there were some animals in the stable. You
would not think hay or straw very soft for a bed, would you? At home mother has
a soft mattress in your bed; then you have warm blankets with which to cover
yourself. But Jesus did not have any of these things. A crib with a little hay
or straw and swaddling clothes were all He had. But He was satisfied with this
little bit. He was happy because by suffering for us He could open heaven again
and redeem the souls of the just.
How can you give Jesus a warm bed and a comfortable place in which to
rest? By making your heart pure and by filling it with thoughts of love and
kindness. Little children can do a great deal of good by being kind. If people
are unkind to you, do not try to have them punished but be very kind to them,
and soon they will love you, and be very sorry that they hurt you.
We must remember that Jesus loves us and came into this world to redeem
us; so if we really love Him, the best way to show it is to love and be good to
all His creatures, even to the animals.
Try to remember that Jesus loves a kind heart, and that the more you
treat other kindly, the more Jesus will love you. Here are some ways that you
can show kindness to others. Your parents, brothers, sisters, your playmates,
all with whom you live or with whom you have something to do, should be treated
kindly. Do you know what the Golden Rule says? “Do unto others as you would have
them do unto you.” Keep this Golden Rule and your heart will be a warm and
loving place in which Jesus will love to rest.