Prior General’s Christmas Message 2022

In his message, the Prior General invites us to have “new ears” so that the news of the birth of Jesus will not be just one among many.

St. Augustine, before the mystery of Christmas, tells us: “Arise, man, God has become man for you”. Today perhaps he would say it to us in other words: wake up, react, do something, don’t just stand there with your arms folded because God no longer knows what to invent to become part of your life and your history, to share your sufferings, to divide your sadness, to multiply your joys. God does not know what to do to get your attention and to make you perceive all his love.

But let us be honest: when we hear this news, the best and greatest news we could receive, the Birth of our Savior, neither our heart skips a beat, nor does it jump, nor does a shiver run through our body, rather we would have to admit that nothing much moves inside us and that we remain quite cold and indifferent.

Therefore, I would like to pray to the Lord for the whole Augustinian Recollect Family: religious, contemplative nuns, sisters, secular fraternity, JAR and Madres Monicas, and for all our collaborators in the mission we carry out, to grant us “new ears” so that this news of God-with-us-Enmanuel is not just one more among many so that it does not fall into the void and leave us indifferent; I also ask the Lord for “new eyes” that do not become accustomed to the brightness of the light that has come to dwell in our land. And I ask the Lord for a “new heart” that always allows itself to be surprised by the small and simple gestures and details, where our God usually hides.

But Christmas is the opposite of thinking about oneself, so I ask the Child Jesus for peace on earth, for all people of goodwill, peace especially in Ukraine and in all countries where freedom does not exist or is threatened. And I also ask the Baby Jesus for bread on every table. Are we going to stand idly by once again? Look around you with God’s eyes and in an instant, you will discover and know what you must do.

Merry Christmas