Lettera Madre Christmas 2020

Lettera Madre Christmas 2020

United_Kingdom1.png My dear Sisters …

Via Aurelia, 773

 Christmas 2020
“This is how God showed his love for us …
And we have seen and testify that the Father
has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.” (1 Jn 4. 9, 14)
“…may Jesus be alive and grow in your hearts!” (AL Vol VIII, no 22)
My dear Sisters,
For Advent, the wish was for each one of us to be open to the grace of a new discovery, while pondering the depths of the meaning of the Incarnation: Christ present among us.
During these weeks, I have been struck, more and more by the value and the fragility of human life made real again, in particular, by the sudden death of Sr Maria Mercede, at the beginning of Advent. As far as it is humanly possible to know, according to Sr Agostina, she seemed her usual self the previous day: following the normal things, together with the other Sisters – Lectio, Rosary online for the time of pandemic, supper and Compline. Then came the first Sunday of Advent, where the liturgy becomes real: the invitation to be always ready, we do not know the hour in which the Master will arrive… in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak.
In a time of great apprehension, it is good not to forget the essence of Christmas: the coming of the Word made flesh. We come to the stable, ‘as’ and ‘where’ we are, in the simplicity of our poverty and fragility, sensing the poverty of the new-born Child Jesus, who has come into the world for love of us. His Mother Mary “wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Taking to heart the invitation of Fr Founder: “let us approach with humble reverence, but without fear, so as to offer our homage to the Son of God, the eternal Word made flesh for us (AL. Vol V no 174)
and “we celebrate the nativity of Jesus Christ. On approaching a day so salutary and joyful for the whole world, thousands of the sweetest emotions must arise in our hearts, where the greeting of the angels is re-echoed: “Glory to God in the highest and peace to men of goodwill”. Then may you experience and conserve among you that perfect peace, the peace of Jesus Christ that is the fruit of love.
And what better time to do so than on this blessed feast of the Redeemer! Behold the divine child on the straw for love of you: Gaze on him with steady eye and then refuse, if you dare, to open your heart to the most tender emotions and accept the gift of that peace he offers to all who love him. (AL Vol VIII, no 22)
Christmas is near and we need to “keep Christ at the centre” of our lives. Jesus wants to be reborn in the hearts of each of us. How can I welcome Him?
We can take these words of a modest and extraordinary Holy Pope, and make them our own, meditating on them with hope; in this way preparing ourselves to welcome our Lord Jesus Christ once again into our hearts, suffering because of the difficult time we are going through. St. John XXIII gave us these sentiments to help us put ourselves in the spirit of expectation – of waiting….
“Jesus I wait for you…
Hurry Jesus, here is my heart;
my soul is poor and stripped of virtue,
the straws of so many imperfections will sting you,
they will make you cry;
but, oh my Lord, what do you want?
It’s all the little I have.
Your poverty moves me, it softens me, it draws my tears.
Jesus, embellish my soul with your presence, adorn it with your graces, burn these straws and change them into a soft bed for your most holy body.
Come into my heart;
I’m poor but I’ll warm you up as much as I can;
at least, I want you to be pleased with the good desire I have to welcome you, to love you,
to sacrifice myself for you.
In your turn, you are rich, and you see my needs; you are a flame of love…
Come, Jesus, I have so many things to tell you!
So much pain to confide in you!
So many desires, so many promises, so many hopes.
I want to adore you, kiss you on the forehead, O little Jesus,
I give myself to you again, forever.
Come, oh Jesus, do not delay any longer, accept my invitation.
Together with the Sisters in various part of the world and united with the whole Church,
we pray the Christmas Novena, remembering those who have little or nothing;
those who are trying to cope with the effects of the present virus or with bereavement; families who cannot be together; those in care homes who can only have limited visits from loved ones; those who are living through serious illness or are unwell in any way and all our dear Sisters and relatives who have returned to the Father’s house during this year…
Happy Christmas to all !
May the coming year be one of hope and peace for all humanity as well as – in the words of an Irish Health Correspondent: “We all know what the best gift is this Christmas, which cannot be bought in any shop, or online. It’s a happy and healthy 2021.”
With love,
India, Vettuthura:
– 2 Sisters renewed their Vows recently.
Tanzania, Muheza:
– the novices Melania Joseph Inge, Maria Paulo Bura, Lucia Selestini Tesha and Regina Jeremias Savuamake make First Profession and 17 Sisters will renew Vows on 3rd January 2021
– the following Sisters will make Perpetual Vows on 5th January (postponed from 1 July because of Covid-19) Sr Getrude Msoka, Sr Joyce Msophe, Sr Elizabeth NgEleshi, Sr Catherine Kiria, Sr Veronica Mtei and Sr Maria Margaret Kimario.
– 10 postulants will enter the Novitiate on 6 January.
We welcome them with joy and accompany them with prayer on their Rosminian journey.
Pope Francis proclaims “Year of St Joseph”
With the Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To mark the occasion, the Holy Father has proclaimed a “Year of Saint Joseph” from 8 December 2020, to 8 December 2021.

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