Today is the liturgical memorial of St. Ambrose reputed to be the greatest Archbishop of Milan (at a time it was the center of the Roman Empire). Ambrose was elected bishop when he was still a catechumen who was competent in civil and ecclesial administration but he’s also known for his acumen in theology and hymnody. It is his relationship with the Holy Trinity that orients our attention, especially with regard to the Incarnation. If we don’t get the Incarnation of the Eternal Word of God correct, nothing else in our Catholic life will be correct. In this period of preparation for the Nativity of the Lord, Ambrose sets our meditation in a way no other can.

He wrote of the Son of God: “And the Word was with God. This that he said is to be understood thus: The Word was just as was the Father; since He was together with the Father, He was also in the Father, and He was always with the Father. […] It is of the Word to be with the Father; it is of the Father to be with the Word, for we read that the Word was with God. So if, according to your opinion, there was a time when He was not, then, according to your opinion, He too was not in the beginning with whom was the Word. For through the Word I hear, through the Word I understand that God was. For, if I shall believe that the Word was eternal, which I do believe, I cannot doubt about the eternity of the Father, whose Son is eternal” (The Sacrament of the Incarnation of our Lord (III, 15-18, from the Vatican web site).

And again, Ambrose says, “He lay in the crib, that you might stand at the altar. He came to earth, that you might come to the stars” (Exposition of Luke 2.41).