"God conquers our hearts not by force, but by love"

In these last days before Christmas, the Church invites us to contemplate the mystery of Christ’s Birth and to experience the joy and hope which the newborn Saviour brings into our world. Gazing on the Christ Child lying in the manger, we contemplate the love of a God who humbly asks us to welcome him into our hearts and into our world. By coming among us as a helpless Child, God conquers our hearts not by force, but by love, and thus teaches us the way to authentic freedom, peace and fulfilment. This Christmas, may the Lord grant us simplicity of heart, so that we may recognize his presence and love in the lowly Babe of Bethlehem, and, like the shepherds, return to our homes filled with ineffable joy and gladness.

Pope Benedict XVI
General Audience, December 23, 2009.

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