infant christ

Prayers for a Novena to the Infant Jesus
Before Christmas Day or before the twenty-fifth of any month.

Eternal Father, I offer to Thy honor and glory, and for my own salvation, and for the salvation of the whole world, the mystery of the birth of our divine Saviour. Glory be to the Father, etc.

Eternal Father, I offer to Thy honor and glory, and for my eternal salvation, the sufferings of the most holy Virgin and of St. Joseph in that long and weary journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. I offer Thee the sorrows of their hearts when they found no place wherein to shelter themselves when the Saviour of the world was born. Glory be to the Father, etc.

Eternal Father, I offer to Thy honor and glory, and for my eternal salvation, the sufferings of Jesus in the stable where He was born, the cold He suffered, the swaddling clothes which bound Him, the tears He shed, and His tender infant cries. Glory be to the Father, etc.

Eternal Father, I offer to Thy honor and glory, and for my eternal salvation, the pain which the holy child Jesus felt in His tender body when He submitted to circumcision. I offer Thee that precious blood which then, for the first time, He shed for the salvation of the whole human race. Glory be to the Father, etc.

Eternal Father, I offer to Thy honor and glory, and for my eternal salvation, the humility, mortification, patience, charity, all the virtues of the child Jesus; and I thank Thee, and I love Thee, and I bless Thee without end for the ineffable mystery of the incarnation of the Divine Word. Glory be to the Father, etc.

V. The Word was made flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.

Let us pray.
O God, whose only-begotten Son was made manifest to us in the substance of our flesh, grant, we beseech Thee, that through Him, whom we acknowledge to be like unto ourselves, our souls may be inwardly renewed, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee forever and ever. Amen.

–“The Little Flower Prayerbook, A Carmelite Manual of Prayer” pgs 223-225

Lesson 11.3: Old Souls

Earlier we talked about soul ages and infant through mature souls, so now let’s talk about old souls, the last age. 

Old souls are very free and laid-back. They choose work and lifestyles that aren’t demanding, and will usually only work if it aids their path. They are very clear on what they want and need. They always give amazing advice, because they’ve been here a lot and are here to aid others. They are not complicated; their speech and writing is simple but wise. They are usually not attracted to religion and dogma, but would rather personal spiritual paths.

Old souls are in the final stage of reincarnation, so they want to teach others and help others. They are seeking balance and completion. While the Mature Soul stage is emotionally intense, old souls see life and all its patterns from a more objective perspective. They are not apathetic, but just non-attached and wise in their objectivity.

They see the duality in all things, the dualities that we went through with the first four stages, and now they are trying to draw everything into unity. They are seeing the oneness in everything.

These souls, because they know what they want, often do what they want. They don’t do it irresponsibly, and they have regard for all life unlike young souls, but they still feel free enough to have integrity and do what they like, which makes them seem eccentric to others.

They are not materialistic, but their understanding of how life happens and their observant and competent nature aids them in making it through and achieving their own levels of success. They mostly seek higher education only if it’s necessary to help them teach, and will only seek it in places where they have a lot of freedom and choice.  

Old souls do have a sense of individualism, just like young souls. But it is not ego-driven; they are at a stage of self-realization and do things that help them reach their full potential. Writing, gardening, painting, and other things that they like and things that can offer self-fulfillment are important during the first half of their lives as they are learning and growing.

They develop unique, personal spiritual practices and often create their own rituals rather than adopting those of other religions.

They can sometimes seem cold. While they’re completely capable of unconditional love, they’ve lived many lifetimes through the previous four stages and have experienced a lot of emotions (especially in the Mature age). So, they come in this phase mostly concerned with spiritual and intellectual things and observing life. They’re very philosophical and their non-attachment can seem impersonal and sometimes annoying, but that’s only because younger souls can’t really understand it. They are full of compassion and wisdom.

So an infant soul sees things as “I and me,” and strives to survive even while maintaining connection to a tight-knit community for protection. A baby souls sees things as “us vs. them.” Young souls sees things as “me vs. the world.” Mature souls see things as “me and all my brothers and sisters on Earth.” An old soul, however, sees everyone as a necessary part of a greater whole.

Because old souls see themselves as small and almost irrelevant compared to the Whole, to Source and life, they too can suffer from self-esteem issues. They often have to work on regarding themselves a bit; self-love and self-appreciation are important.

They also have to learn to enjoy physical existence, since we cannot have our “last life” until we learn to like this existence. They often incarnate in the gender that they’d least prefer, even though the gender lines aren’t really defined for them since they mix masculine and feminine energies.

They tend to speak slowly, respect “being” instead of “doing”, and are humble to the fact that they know nothing. You can usually recognize a sense of peace and calm in them. They love direct eye contact.

Jiddu Krishnamurtie, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jesus Christ, and Ram Dass are all old souls. Old souls tend to be in comfortable island settings, or may go to developing countries to help move them forward. They may even go to places where infant souls are in order to teach and guide them.

Some things to remember: being here is all about learning and growing. Sometimes, we may have to endure things we don’t like in order to learn. For example, if you were financially prosperous in previous lifetimes, you may live the rest of your lifetimes with very little money in order to not be distracted by a lavish lifestyle and learn what you have left.

More on souls coming soon. We have to talk more about soul ages and soulmates, so stay tuned!