Written on: December 30, 2021
As Christmas comes once again, we are reminded of the beautiful meaning of this special day. Amid the festive spirit, heightened pace, never-ending chores and gala celebrations, it is often difficult to focus on the real reason for the celebration. Quiet, peaceful time is hard to find.
As I thought about the reason for our overwhelming joy at Christmas, I was reminded of the explanation given by Richard Rohr, O.F.M. in his book, Essential Teachings on Love (p. 19):
“In Jesus, God was given a face and a heart. God became someone we could love…”
Richard Rohr reminds us that, for Francis of Assisi, incarnation was redemption. All that we celebrate about Jesus’ salvific love on our behalf has come to be already in the incredible gift of becoming one of us.
As Jesus personifies God’s unconditional and enveloping love for us, so we should try to be givers of that precious gift of love in our lives. The incarnation, then, is a recognition and grateful acceptance of God’s personal and profound love for us and the awakening, once again of the desire to reflect that love to others.
This year is a very special one for all of us who honor St. Marguerite d’Youville.
On December 23, 2021, we joined in prayer with all other Grey Nun congregations to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the death of Marguerite.
This is significant, not only because it is the day on which Marguerite died after her debilitating illness, but because she would be so pleased to know that until this time, her work with the poor would continue. Certainly, at this time in all of our Grey Nun congregations, there is that same uncertainty about what will happen to our legacy in the time ahead.
We ask you to join us in prayer to our mother, Marguerite, and ask that we, in imitation of her confidence in Divine Providence, trust that the good that God intends will continue long after we cease to be here.
Perhaps as we participate in the celebration of Christmastide, we can remember all those who have lost loved ones or who, like the early band of Grey Nuns, sit with their loved ones as they await their call to join their beloved God.
I wish you and your loved ones the peace that accompanies this Christmas season and thank you for the blessing you are to us and to many others.
With grateful affection,
Sister Denise Roche, GNSH, President