Hope-filled Christmas greetings
I am in Rome this Christmas, and have had the joyous privilege of celebrating Christmas in different ways.
Arriving on 24th December, I was able to join the Probation Community at their Veillee. They all just came back from touching encounters with some homeless persons and brought this experience to the prayer. This beautiful fragment from St. John of the Cross’ Advent poem accompanied us as we went through a symbolic pilgrimage to the chapel.
At each of the four stations, which called to mind peoples and situations crying for Jesus’ birth, some probanists shared prayers or brief reflections. The last stop was the chapel where together we stayed in silence with the Christ-Child.
The uncontainable joy of Christmas flowed freely at dinner time, which began with singing carols to greet the Villa Lante Community. The Polish tradition of sharing desires, messages, and a “piece of our hearts” with each other took a fair amount of time, but it filled our hearts while disposing us even more for the lovely dinner.
We only had about thirty minutes left before we walked together to Santa Maria de Trastevere to attend Midnight Mass. It was about half-past 1AM when we returned to the Villa Lante. The long, full day and chilly air were no match to the warm, joyous feeling of Christmas.
At midday on Christmas Day, we travelled together to the Mother House, where we were welcomed warmly. We had lunch, seated in different language-tables. We received gifts. We prayed together in the chapel with the Baby Jesus. We had fun playing games and engaging in an art workshop.
We came back to the Villa Lante filled with the joy of being One Body.
I am grateful for this experience of Christmas with our Sisters here in Rome; and I share this joy with you. I also take this opportunity to greet and thank each and all of you who have been part of RSCJINTERNATIONAL (contributors and authors, translators and artists, readers and general audience, communication links and staff).
to discover and reveal God’s love through this “virtual” medium.
Together we pray for HOPE in our blessed and broken world!
Joy Luz rscj