I love attending retreats. On one particular retreat, we were invited to reflect upon the Child Jesus. As I prayed, I found a statue of the Child Jesus and felt invited by Jesus to pick up the statue and hold him. Fears and hesitancy rose in me. I was so afraid of breaking the almost life-size (not to mention porcelain) Baby Jesus. Back then, I found that babies would cry when I would hold them, and I wouldn’t know how to help them. But mostly, I felt that I wasn’t holy enough to be so close to Jesus. I listed all my excuses and politely told Jesus I would only imagine holding him.

When I mentioned to the retreat leader that I had felt Baby Jesus asking me to hold him, she smiled. She then gently set up an exercise for all the retreatants. We gathered in a circle and each had a turn to hold this statue of Baby Jesus. He had curly brown hair and brown eyes. He looked so chilly, as he was scarcely dressed on that cold winter day. Soon it was my turn. I felt nervous! What if I broke him? What if he didn’t want to be held by me? What if…

As I hesitantly extended my arms and received Baby Jesus, I felt him say in my heart; “I just want you to hold me.” With these words, peace poured in and all the fears fell away. I experienced Jesus’ desire to be held by me, just as I was. He just wanted to be with me, to be held by me. I realized more deeply that he came to be with us and to save us. I could hear St. Therese’s quote echoing in my mind as she said, “A God who became so small can only be Mercy and Love.”

In that moment, I experienced God’s mercy and love. He’s the one who makes me holy, so I don’t need to be afraid of him. He comes to me, and he won’t reject me. Isn’t it amazing that God came to earth as one of us? He became so vulnerable, exposed, needy, and helpless, all because he loved us and wished us to love him in return. He allowed himself to become so small so we would not be afraid to draw close, to even dare to hold him, our God who is with us. This is truly his testimony of mercy and love.

It’s not always easy to let Jesus draw close, especially when our hearts can be filled with our fears of unworthiness. This Christmas, let’s take some time to sit with Baby Jesus, and maybe even hold him. Let’s allow him to draw near, and speak of a love that says, “Please hold me.”  In the quiet, we can hear him whisper his deep desire for our love.


  1. Cheryl December 15, 2021 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    Wonderful reflection. Thank you for sharing ❤️

  2. Anne December 15, 2021 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    beautiful read…thank you and now when I place baby Jesus in the manger, I will think of you and your words!

  3. Tanya December 16, 2021 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Thank-you for posting this beautiful reflection. It has inspired me!

  4. Joanne Bywaters December 16, 2021 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    Holy!! Thats holy beautiful & vulnerable Sr Meagan!!!! Thank you for sharing!!❤⚘🙏😍🤗

  5. Dawn December 17, 2021 at 8:27 am - Reply

    This is a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing your experience, Sister Meagan.

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