Lettera Madre Advent 2020
SUORE DELLA PROVVIDENZA ROSMINIANE
Via Aurelia, 773
My dear Sisters,
As we begin another liturgical year, we are constantly aware of what is happening around us.
The reality of our world, summed up by Pope Francis during the ‘Extraordinary Moment of
Prayer’ on 27 March 2020, is even more poignant today, since we are all involved in one way
Pope Francis affirmed: “For weeks now it has seemed like evening. Thick darkness has
gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling
everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes
by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away…
Like the disciples in the Gospel we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but
at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of
comforting the other… only together can we do this.
The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties
around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities.
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, you are calling to us, calling us to faith.
Which is not so much believing that you exist, but coming to you and trusting in you!
You are calling on us to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing. … a time to choose what
matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a
time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others…”
Again, in the Encyclical, Fratelli Tutti (no 54), Pope Francis writes: “The recent pandemic
enabled us to recognize and appreciate once more all those around us who, in the midst of fear,
responded by putting their lives on the line. We began to realize that our lives are interwoven
and sustained by ordinary people, valiantly shaping the decisive events of our shared history:
doctors, nurses, pharmacists, storekeepers and supermarket workers, cleaning personnel,
caretakers, transport workers, men and women working to provide essential services and public
safety, volunteers, priests and religious… They understood that no one is saved alone.”
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”?
Faith begins when we realise we are in need of salvation. We are not self-sufficient; by
ourselves, we founder: we need the Lord. … Let us invite Jesus into … our lives.”
Oh that you would tear open the heavens and come down!
The Advent cry from the Prophet Isaiah holds new meaning this year and greater urgency.
Waiting in joyful hope for the coming of the Lord
The liturgy of the church offers us the period of Advent every year to rekindle our hope and
our joy. It is not only waiting for the birth of Jesus. It is the trust that his presence in history
gives us the hope to go beyond the present unrest, suffering and uncertainty in our world. Advent is the time, which heralds the coming of the One who longs to journey with us:
“Hope in a truth that saves,
a light stronger than the dark,
a path that transforms the heart”.
All this is Advent, and Pope Francis after the general audience on 26 November, wanted to remind the Church of every part of the world of the importance of the liturgical period that is about to begin:
“In these difficult times for many, let us strive to rediscover the great hope and joy that the coming of the Son of God into the world gives us.”
Let us enter this new season with confidence, as we are drawn into pondering the depths of the meaning of the Incarnation: Christ present among us.
Let us live the fullness of this time – this journey of Advent 2020, in which I wish each one of you the grace of a new discovery and a happy celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, “full of grace”!
With Her protection, Mother of Hope, we become more aware of God, present in our lives. Like Her, we will realize that Christ is within us; Christ is with us; Christ is all around us.
“Come, Lord Jesus!”
May God bless us all.
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