Canisius | 06 December, 2007 09:11
Amidst the lengthy entry for the feast of St. Nicholas, one finds almost nothing about St. Nicholas as bringer of gifts—which is the only thing most people know about St. Nicholas, if they know anything at all about him. But at one place, Dom Guéranger offers what seems to me a beautiful interpretation of this role Nicholas has taken on. Pointing out that St. Nicholas was among those who voted in favor of orthodoxy at the council of Nicaea, and that he was not scandalized by the humiliation and lowliness of the Word, nor even by the poverty of the crib, Guéranger says (I,340):
...and for this reason, God has glorified this His servant, and given him the power to obtain, each year, for the children of the Church, the grace of receiving this same Jesus, the Word, with simple faith and fervent love.
The doctrine of the “three comings” of Christ is the key to Advent, of course, and in particular the teaching that Christ comes invisibily, spiritually, at Christmastide. But to make St. Nicholas the special saint of obtaining this grace for children—this seems to me an exquisite touch.