Rome, Christmas 2018
To All the Sisters
At Christmas, everything speaks of birth and new beginnings…. Christmas is a salvation event that can sprout shoots of new life, renewed fruitfulness and holiness.
A single melody pervades the night of the Incarnation and the morning of Easter: the announcement of great joy, the fulfillment of God’s promise.
As a Congregation, in this time of grace in which our provincial chapters, delegation meetings and meetings of the communities dependent on the General Government are taking place, we welcome the explosion of joy emanating from Bethlehem and the invitation to support the thrust toward broad horizons, to believe that the Lord can make all things new. He is truly with us–a powerful Savior among us. The certainty of his presence banishes all our fears, makes a new light shine in our hearts, and allows us to rejoice, exult and radiate joy (cf. Is. 66:10) even in the most difficult situations.
Let us head toward the Child of Bethlehem with the simplicity and good will of the shepherds, who wanted to see the divine event (cf. Lk. 2:16). Let us contemplate in the arms of Mary our Savior, the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Living One (Rv. 1:18), who is, who was and who is to come (Rv. 1:4). Let us proclaim with the joy of the angels: “Glory to God in the highest heaven and peace on earth to all in whom he delights” (Lk. 2:14). Like the Magi, let us prostrate ourselves before him in adoration, opening the treasure of our heart (cf. Mt. 2:11).
Christmas is an invitation to enter into the mystery of Christ so as to become his dwelling place, the place of his incarnation; so as to adopt his style of life, his attitudes, and assimilate his surprising logic.
In the recently concluded Synod of Bishops, the young people clamored for an authentic, transparent and joyful Church…a holy Church because holiness is truly the most attractive face of the Church (GE 9). The language of holiness is understandable to everyone: it is an immediate and luminous language. It is the language used by Maestra Thecla in a letter to the sisters for Christmas 1961:
Let us ask for saints for our Congregation! The Congregation does not need people who do a lot of things, who are always very busy, who make a lot of noise. It needs holy people! Let us all be united, one in heart and soul…. Let us prepare well to receive Baby Jesus by emptying our hearts of everything that displeases him. And then let us ask the Blessed Virgin to fill our hearts, as she filled hers, with the love of God–a love consisting of good will and not just sentiments…. Let nothing come between us and God, not even the smallest thing. I am praying fervently for all of you that we may reach the holiness to which we are called. I write these things to you not only with my pen but also with my heart. I want you all to be saints: for this I have offered my life for everyone. May we reach the holiness God wants of us” (VPC 263).
Our religious family is a family shot through with holiness. Christmas is a very favorable occasion to remember the humility, smallness and faith of our fathers and mothers; to recover the original freshness of the Gospel (cf. EG 11); to trust completely in God, who has done for us great and awesome things, which we have seen for ourselves (cf. Dt. 10:21).
On behalf of myself and the other members of the General Government, these are the best wishes I extend to all of you, as well as to the young women who are initiating the Pauline life and to our cooperators and collaborators. Blessed Christmas to all of you!
With deep affection,
Sr. Anna Maria Parenzan