Happy Christmas 2019, Day 2

N.C. Wyeth, illustration for "The Stable at the Inn" 
for Scribner's, December 1912
Shamelessly pinched from Plum Leaves 

Anthony Esolen writes: 
...if we say, “We remember that Christmas is about Christ, unlike these late-stage pagans, hunters and hunted, harried from shop to shop,” we too have missed the holiness of the night. Christ did not come among us because we were good. He did not search for the automobile with the most sincere bumper stickers. 

He came among us because we were bad: benighted, lost, ever wandering yet not advancing one step toward the light. Says the poet Herbert, in “Christmas”:
O thou, whose glorious yet contracted light,
Wrapped in night’s mantle, stole into a manger,
Since my dark soul and brutish is thy right,
To man of all beasts be thou not a stranger: 

Furnish and deck my soul, that thou mayst have
A better lodging than a rack, or grave.