Mother’s letter February 2017

Mother’s letter February 2017

United_Kingdom1.png My dear Sisters …

Via Aurelia, 773

“my eyes have seen your salvation … “(Lk 2. 30)

My dear Sisters,
In this message for the celebration of the 2 February 2017 we ponder together on three simple aspects which have a profound meaning for us. The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple becomes a Meeting place for all those involved – Mary and Joseph with Jesus; the elderly Simeon and Anna; and also for each one of us – because “Jesus comes to meet us and we go to meet him”. This ‘Temple’ becomes a means of timeless ‘Encounter’ because, to quote Pope Francis on the occasion of the conclusion of the ‘Year of Consecrated Life’, Jesus is “presented to us as the perennial surprise of God; concentrated in this Child born for all is the past, made of memory and of promise, and the future, full of hope.” (2 Feb 2016)

This Encounter extends to “World Day for Consecrated Life” where we also are called to reflect the light of Jesus to all peoples. “Consecrated men and women are called first and foremost to be men and women of encounter. Indeed, the vocation does not originate from a plan we have designed “on the drawing board”, but from a grace of the Lord which touches us, through a life-changing encounter. Those who truly encounter Jesus cannot remain the same as before. He is the novelty that makes all things new. Those who experience this encounter become witnesses and make the encounter possible for others; they also promote the culture of encounter, avoiding the self-referentiality that makes us stay closed off within ourselves. (op cit)

Thirdly, this is our Year of Gratitude (during which each community creates its own programme of prayer and events.) Thankfulness shifts our attention from what is lacking in our lives to the abundance which is already there – bringing gratitude to our daily experiences, instead of waiting for some extraordinary experience in order to feel grateful – essentially it means being mindful of how much we have received. “Through the encounter with Jesus and through the gift of the vocation to consecrated life we learn from today’s celebration to experience gratitude. Thanking, giving thanks: the Eucharist. How beautiful it is when we encounter the happy faces of consecrated people, perhaps already advanced in years like Simeon or Anna, content and full of gratitude for their own vocation.” (op cit)

The song of praise of Simeon, expresses our trust in God at the end the day, as it did at the end of Simeon’s life: in praying the Nunc Dimittis each night, we come to see Jesus, the Light, as Simeon and Anna did – a Light we share with those we encounter. Let us also make these sentiments our own during this Year: “May the Lord Jesus, through the maternal intercession of Mary, grow in us, and increase in each person the desire for encounter, the safekeeping of astonishment and the joy of gratitude. Then others will be attracted by his light, and they will be able to encounter the Father’s mercy.” (op cit)

United in prayer, we shine the Light for each other,
Love, c.

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