The Nativity Scene
with figurines in modern day peasant clothes
from Guatemala. An example of how
the past becomes present in Gospel Contemplation


(photo by Scotus Fernandez,
and scanning by Paul Coles)
The "past becoming present" can be seen from Ignatius Loyola's instructions for the prayer exercise on the Nativity [110]. The red underlined portions are examples.  The maid, ox, servant, and paying homage are all projections from his own culture:
[111]. First Prelude.  This is the history of the mystery.  Here it will be that our Lady, about nine months with child, and, as may be piously believed, seated on an ass, set out from Nazareth.  She was accompanied by Joseph and a maid, who was leading an ox.  They are going to Bethlehem to pay the tribute  that Caesar imposed on those lands. ....

[114]. First Point.  This will consist in seeing the persons, namely, our Lady, St. Joseph, the maid, and the Child Jesus after His birth. I will make myself a poor little unworthy servant, and as though present, look upon them, contemplate them, and serve them in their needs will all possible homage and reverence.

Two other examples of this can be seen by going to the following images:

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