At the beginning of this Novena we have some reflection by a seventeenth century cardinal, Pierre de Bérulle. He was the founder of the French School of Spirituality. He was also given by Pope Urban VIII the title of the Apostle of the Incarnate Word - Apostolus Verbi Incarnati. The reflection quated here was the outcome of his adoration of this great Mystery of the Incarnation:
Now one of the first and most important lessons we are taught in this school of wisdom and salvation concerns the sacred mystery of the incarnation. It is a mystery so sublime that it surpasses the loftiest thoughts of humans and of angels; a mystery so excellent that it contains and embraces within itself both God and the world; a mystery so deep that it was hidden from all eternity in the most secret thoughts of the Ancient of Days, in the bosom of the eternal Father, in a way so high and unspeakable that in several places the apostle, with good reason, calls it the mystery hidden from all eternity in God, who created all things. And yet this mystery, so high and surpassing, so deep and hidden, was in the fullness of time accomplished upon earth so publicly as to be in full view of both earth and heaven; and it was accomplished so as to be the object of the faith of the nations, the anchor of their hope, the cause of their salvation, and the achievement of the glory of God in the universe.
For it was through this mystery that heaven was opened and the earth sanctified. Through it God is adored with a new adoration, an unspeakable adoration, an adoration previously unknown on earth or even in heaven, for heaven indeed had spirits who worshipped and God who was worshiped, but it did not yet possess a God who worshiped. It is through this mystery that God is on earth, abasing his grandeur; and covered with our frailty, clothed in our mortality, he himself is bringing about among us as one of us the salvation of the world. It is through this mystery that earth is a heaven, a new heaven, where God dwells in a higher and more venerable way, a holier and more divine way, than hitherto in the highest heaven. It is by our faith in, love for, and homage to this sacred mystery that God established on earth, through no ministering angels but by himself, a religion never to be altered or annulled, and which he reserved for the last days because it is also the last word concerning his power, his love, and his eternal wisdom.
The Church should be caught up in this mystery in a holy and divine way. It should be the focus for the devotion of the most advanced souls, transfixed with wonder and admiration as they contemplate this object where they discover and perceive in an unspeakable fashion the majesty of the divine essence, the distinction of its persons and the depth of its designs as well as the exalted, rare and unheard of way in which God chose to exist in this masterwork. For everything that is great, holy and worthy of admiration is there. It is like a resume and summary of all that the oracles of faith reveal and teach us about God and his works. This divine mystery is like he center of the created and uncreated world. It is the only place where God chose once and for all to contain and reduce to our level both the world and himself, that is, his own infiniteness and the immensity of the whole universe.
For Jesus is a world, a splendid world, according to authentic theology, and this is true for many more reasons than philosophy ever knew when referring to the human person as a world in miniature, as we will say later. Furthermore, we adore in Jesus the unity of a divine Person, subsisting in two different natures, who divinely and unspeakably, proclaims, honours and serves the supreme unity of the divine essence. O supreme unity, how lovable and admirable you are in the divinity and in in the most divine of its works! How adorable you are, because God himself honours you through the unity of his Word in two related natures! He honours you forever because you are eternal and everlasting.”
“Discourse on the State and Grandeurs of Jesus.”