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16 November 2015
“Prepare the way of the Lord! Repent!"
My dear Co-Workers, Active and Sick & Suffering, Lay MCs and Volunteers,
This Holy Season of Advent and Christmas invites us to contemplate who we really are and what is our worth in God's eyes we look with gratitude to God and marvel at the great things He has done for us during this year.
This December 21st will mark one year since Sr. M. Dorothy MC was unexpectedly called home to God while she was in Bangladesh. Sr. Dorothy MC, one of the first group of sisters who joined Mother, had been tireless in spreading Mother's message of God's love to our sisters, brothers and friends.
We miss the presence of our be lowed Sr. Nirmala MC who completed her earthly missionary journey on June 23rd this year, but rejoice that she now beholds the face of the Blessed Trinity. We remember Sr. Nirmala MC with much gratitude as a joyful channel of God's love and compassion to all of us and those in our care, the materially and spiritually poorest of the poor.
Through all the horrors of war, destruction of lives and homes and the sufferings of millions of refugees» especially in the Middle East where people continue to live under gunfire and bombing, we have been witnessing may miracles of God's tender love.
In Dwellah, Syria, the sisters and the parishioners offered Mother's novena for 250 families taken hostage by the IS. On the day of Mother's feast, most of these families were released.
In Aleppo, Syria, during the same novena» a bullet struck a nan in the chest» but the bullet was deflected by Mother’s medal hanging on his neck and he was saved. Also in Aleppo, one of our workers was carting a lot of bread on a trolley when he sensed a shot fired close by. The following day» a bullet was found inside the bread.
In our Sana'a, Taiz, Aden and Aden Hodeida houses in Yemen» our sisters» with the poor in their care» are daily facing deafening noise» smoke and fierce shaking as bombs explode close to their houses. Their windows, walls and compounds have been hit by bullets and flying debris from tile explosions. The sisters are grateful for the two Salesian priests who have stayed on to care for their spiritual needs. They are also grateful for your prayers and ask that you continue to pray for them.
In such a time of darkness and confusion when the basic values of human life and family life are also being attacked, our Holy Father will inaugurate the "Tear of Mercy" on the 8th of December. As we stand before the Face of our Heavenly Father, we are invited to contemplate who we really are and what is our worth in God's eyes is.
The goal of our pilgrimage in the Tear of Mercy is heaven» already present here by fulfilling God's will perfectly. The starting point is where I am. The call is, "Repent."
"Turn around." is the meaning of the word, "repeat". It is not remorse ; it is not admitting mistakes* It is not self-condemnation. It is more than penitence and offering sacrifices. Repentance calls me to completely break down my prideful self-assurance and my self-will. It calls me to strip away the mantle of my good name and success.
Repentance means change: I understand what I have to change and really do it. I have done wrong now I turn my back to it and more in the opposite direction so that the gospel can become incarnated in my life. Repentance removes the blocks of pride, division and resentment that hinder Jesus from being born in my heart and in my family now.
Guided by the Holy Spirit and the help of Mother Mary let us journey into our hearts to know what we have to turn away from and what we have to change because we want to prepare the way for the Lord.
Repentance leads me to realize that:
- Preoccupation with work and accomplishment make me empty and bitter.
I must therefore make time for prayer so that God may fill me with Himself.
- My habit of speaking harshly and rudely hurts others and myself. I must therefore learn to control my tongue; to keep silence. For the fruit of silence is prayer» faith and charity.
— My uncontrolled imagination leaves me restless and scattered. I must therefore take up the Scriptures and memories one verse daily and repeat it often throughout the day so that I may enter into the stillness of God.
This Christmas we shall delight the Baby Jesus by giving Him our "turned around" and "changed" heart. He will bless it and make it overflow with His mercy.
You may have heard speculations about the canonization of our dearest Mother. Until date, I do not have any official communication and so cannot give you any news.
I wish you, your families and dear ones a fervent Advent and the joy of welcoming Jesus into your heart at Christmas. May you have a grace-filled New Year 2016.
Please pray for me and all our sisters
Text © Mother Teresa Center of the Missionaries of Charity