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Bendiciones para Navidad y Aņo Nuevo

21/12/2010: General House - Rome

Cry and shout for  joy  you who live in Zion,

For the holy one of Israel is among you in his greatness.                                                                                                                            Is 12:6

Dear Sisters,

This letter comes to you in the season of Advent, a very meaningful time for us in the congregation at this moment of our history.  Over the next year we are living an advent as we move towards reconfiguration – it is a time of waiting, preparing, hoping, anticipating, allowing new life to emerge, and a time of transformation.  It is also for some a time of anxiety and perhaps fear.

If we ponder Mary’s advent as she awaited the birth of her child, we see she was not passive, but very active.  She went off to visit Elizabeth, her older cousin, a visit that would have found her helping in daily tasks as well as talking and sharing, perhaps allaying the anxiety and fears of the other.

“Mary’s happiness does not consist only in receiving – but above all in giving, communicating, sharing – we see her hastening to bring to Elizabeth the superabundance of her graces’’ Theodore Ratisbonne  (Bk 3: 102)

 Mary’s welcome of Jesus totally transformed her life.   As we welcome Jesus into our lives both this advent and every day, we are being called to the same transformative process as Mary’s, a call to holiness. As Theodore says in a retreat to the sisters,

“Seek holiness wholeheartedly; work at perfection day by day. The more faithful you are the stronger you will become, for grace abounds to the extent of our fidelity’’. In this advent time that the whole congregation is entering, we are being called to holiness “so that we may fulfill our mission inherent in our charism” (p9 Chapter documents).  This period is a time of pregnancy for us as we wait to give birth to a new reality.  We are reminded of Theodore’s faithful prayer for 6 months before the image of the “Madonna of the divine childbirth” in the Church of Saint Augustine in Rome as he waited for the Constitution to be approved  when he wrote , “I feel once more all the pain of the birth of Sion”. (Bk 4:22)

Between now and January 2012 we are called to choose life, to exercise our minds, having big hearts and creative imaginations so as to allow new life to emerge.  We need to allow time for this to happen, with each one living out her own membership and leadership responsibly by contributing to this process with trust and confidence.

At the conclusion of Advent we move into a season of great joy as we celebrate the coming of Christ in our midst.  Confident that new structures and life will be birthed through our process of reconfiguration, we must move forward so that we can appreciate these moments of newness in the coming twelve months and can sing loudly with the prophet …

Rejoice heart and soul, daughter of Zion,

Shout for  joy , daughter of Jerusalem.

Zech. 9:6

We wish you all the blessings of Christmas and New Year