CONCLUDING PRAYER

Eternal thanks be to thee, O Emmanuel! for that thou hast deigned, in coming upon this earth, to appear first under the form of Infancy, in order that thou mightest draw us to thyself by the simplicity and loveliness of that tender age. Encouraged by thy sweetness, we have come to thee; we have dared to approach thy Crib, and there we have taken up our abode. But, the work thou hast yet to accomplish for our Redemption calls thee from Bethlehem; and henceforth, we must cease to consider thee as the amiable Infant-God. Thou art now going to show thyself to us as the Man of toil, and fatigue, and suffering, going in pursuit of the lost sheep, and not having, in this world, which is the work of thy hands, a place where to lie thy head. We will follow thee, dear Jesus whithersoever thou goest; we will hearken to all thy instructions; we will not lose single one of the lessons thou art going to give us; our hearts shall be attentive to the rest of the mysteries of the work of our salvation, which is to cost thee so much labour.

We have devoutly admired and loved thee, O Mary! during these days which have shown us all the glory of thy divine Maternity, which gave joy to all heaven and earth.  Thy ineffable happiness, O Mother of our God! has been a long feast to us. Thou hast affectionately welcomed us at the Crib of thy Divine Son; thou hast received us as brethren of thy Jesus. Accept, once more, the tribute of our humble thanks. We are no longer, now, to see our Emmanuel resting in thine arms, or sleeping on thy bosom. The decrees of his heavenly Father call him to the great work of our Redemption, and, later on, to the sacrifice of his life for our sakes. O Blessed Mother! the Sword is already in thy heart - thou foreknowest the future of this dear Fruit of thy womb. May our fidelity in following him through the coming mysteries of his public life, bring some alleviation to the sorrows of thy maternal Heart!