We are celebrating the feast of the Eternal Birth which God the Father has borne and never ceases to bear in all eternity.... But if it takes not place in me, what avails it? Everything lies in this, that it should take place in me.
The first thing which I can record concerning myself is, that I was born. These are wonderful words. This life, to which neither time nor eternity can bring diminution -- this everlasting living soul, began. My mind loses itself in these depths.
Compassion and shame come over one who considers how precarious is the origin of the proudest of living beings: often the smell of a lately extinguished lamp is enough to cause a miscarriage. And to think that from such a frail beginning a tyrant or butcher may be born! You who trust in your physical strength, who embrace the gifts of fortune and consider yourself not their ward but their son, you who have a domineering spirit, you who consider yourself a god as soon as success swells your breast, think how little could have destroyed you!
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting. The soul that rises with us, our life's star, hath had elsewhere its setting, and comet from afar: not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory do we come from God, who is our home.