L’Enchante

From Brennan Manning’s beautiful Christmas essay, “Shipwrecked at the Stable:”

There is a story told in the south of France very Christmas about the four shepherds who came to Bethlehem to see the Child. One brought eggs, another bread and cheese, the third brought wine.  And the fourth brought nothing at all. People called him L’Enchante.  The first three shepherds chatted with Mary and Joseph, commenting on well Mary looked, how cozy the cave was and how handsomely Joseph had appointed it, what a beautiful starlight night it was. They congratulated the proud parents, presented them with their gifts and assured them that if they needed anything else, they only had to ask. Finally someone asked, “Where is the L’Enchante?” They searched high and low, inside and out. Finally, someone peaked through the blanket hung against the draft into the crèche. There, kneeling at the crib, was the L’Enchante – the Enchanted One. Like a flag or a flame taking direction of the wind, he had taken the direction of love. Throughout the entire night, he stayed in adoration, whispering, “Jesu, Jesu, Jesu – Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

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