TO THE AUGUSTINIAN RECOLLECT FAMILY
Dear brothers and sisters:
With gratitude and hope we celebrate on December 5 the Anniversary of the Augustinian Recollection. After 432 years, the restlessness of those brothers who at the Chapter of the Augustinian Province of Castile expressed their desire to live a more evangelical life with poverty, prayer and apostolic service, remains alive in our hearts.
The strength of the Order’s history is expressed in its ability to generate change. The charism that we have received is a transforming force that leads us to confront ourselves, through stories, with the life of those brothers and sisters who, open to the Spirit, initiated it by living their union with Christ with passion. They made of charism their path of dedication and holiness.
I exhort the entire Augustinian Recollect Family – men and women religious, fraternities, RAY youth – to respond with joy to the Lord’s call and to renew our commitment to dedication and service. A renewal that is not mere words, but a project of life and mission that becomes an oblation of love in the life of each day.
In the context of this season of Advent, in which we await the coming of the Lord, I invite you to remember the words of Saint Augustine: “I am afraid that Jesus will pass by and I will not realize it” (Sermons, 88,14,13). The Lord passes through our lives, let’s open our hearts today and prepare his ways.
The Covid-19 pandemic has raised uncertainty in all countries and makes us all feel more vulnerable. We cannot help but perceive the cry of those who suffer in body and spirit, multitudes of people in need. United to Christ, we all have the urgent mission of spreading life and hope in our communities, in our families and in the ministries we serve. We all have to see and help the one near us and the stranger who is badly injured on the side of the road. Let us join our prayer in sorrow for the brothers who have died on the way.
I ask that we pray for all the missions of the Augustinian Recollect Family, especially for those places where there is greater difficulty and poverty. Let us trust in the power of prayer and in the mercy of the Lord.
May the celebration of the Anniversary of the Recollection prepare us for Christmas, and may the presence of God made Child in Bethlehem fill our hearts and our lives with peace, hope and joy.
Rome, December 4, 2020.