Girl Kneeling by a Cradle, Vincent van Gogh, via Wikimedia Commons
Come closer to me, closer still, O Power of the Holy Trinity. Enter into my consciousness more deeply than thoughts and emblems of the world can. In the same way as a wise mother, when she conceives, prepares and embellishes a cradle for her child, so prepare and embellish my mind for that which will be begotten from You, O Beauty and Purity.
Many evil thoughts lurk like serpents around the cradle of Your Son. And many wicked desires emerge from my heart and seek the cradle of Your Prince, to poison Him with their arrows.
Defend the cradle of my mind, and teach my soul how to give birth and care for an infant.
Shroud in deep darkness the journey of all malevolent visitors coming to see my newborn son. And raise aloft a most radiant star over the way of the Wise Men from the East, men who are truly wise, because they are coming to visit my most precious child with three gifts—faith, hope, and love.
Come closer to me, still closer, my majestic Lord.
Nikolai Velimirovich, 1881-1956, Serbian Orthodox monastic
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.