Lucas Cranach (1472 - 1553) The Nativity. 1515-20, Gemäldegalerie, Dresden.

Lucas Cranach (1472 - 1553) The Nativity. 1515-20, Gemäldegalerie, Dresden.

Mystic Nativity, 1500, Sandro Botticelli. "An image with mysterious symbolism, combining a Christian Nativity scene with a vision of Christ's Second Coming." (National Gallery)

Mystic Nativity, 1500, Sandro Botticelli. "An image with mysterious symbolism, combining a Christian Nativity scene with a vision of Christ's Second Coming." (National Gallery)

Rogier van der Weyden 1399/1400 – 1464, The Nativity, ca. 1445-48, the central panel of the Bladelin Triptych.

Rogier van der Weyden 1399/1400 – 1464, The Nativity, ca. 1445-48, the central panel of the Bladelin Triptych.

Nativity, Book of Hours, Use of Tours, France,  c. 1490- c. 1500. Harley 2877, f46v

Nativity, Book of Hours, Use of Tours, France, c. 1490- c. 1500. Harley 2877, f46v

The Christmas story may take on greater meaning and import if we look to the real life struggles of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Entering into the scenes through prayer means entering into the lives of fully human people, whose experiences can enable us to deepen our relationship with God, who is near us, with us and one of us.

The Christmas story may take on greater meaning and import if we look to the real life struggles of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Entering into the scenes through prayer means entering into the lives of fully human people, whose experiences can enable us to deepen our relationship with God, who is near us, with us and one of us.

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