You are invited to share in an Advent meditation
a letter addressed “To Each Confrere in the World”
from then Superior General Richard McCullen, C.M.
I can just see
in the distant horizon
of the dome of St. Peter’s
through the branches of some
When my eye catches sight
I invariably think of
the wealth of history
beneath that cupola
of the bones
my mind travels to
the Lake of Galilee
the hill country of Judea
where Jesus Christ
of the Virgin Mary.
I find myself reflecting
on the contrast
the massive magnificence of St. Peter's
the simplicity of life
beside the Lake of Galilee
and of the still starker simplicity
that surrounded the birth of Jesus
in a cave
Yet that contrast
in comparison with
that is to be found
within he Incarnation itself.
In human experience there is no greater contrast
within the dimensions
of one frail human
there should be found
« the fullness of Him Who fills the whole creation ».
St. Vincent in his day saw
contrast between the rich
and the poor
and what he brought to both
was the fruit
of his reflection
on the mystery of the Incarnation.
He had reflected on the fact
that Jesus Christ,
became poor for our sake.
(2 Cor. 8 :9)
Then he decided to go and do likewise himself.
of the Incarnation
was the permanent inspiration of St. Vincent’s life.
It must be ours, too.
We shall only fully see Christ in the poor
when we have fully seen God in Christ.
That is why
all that we do and say
will have meaning
it is born of our relationship with Jesus Christ,
truly God and truly man.
What we bring
to the poor
must be more than a program
for the betterment of their material and economic condition.
We must bring
something of the peace, the joy
and the spiritual freedom
which we ourselves have experienced
from being present to Jesus Christ through prayer
and the sacraments
of the Eucharist
I do hope that you will have a happy Christmas.
The poor are never closer to the Christian than
at Christmas time. I hope that through giving
some time this Christmas to the poor and lonely
(often a listening heart is of more value than
money), you will have enriched the lives of
some of those millions of people who have so
much less to eat than we have, and so much
less to live for.
I shall write again to you at the end of January.
Meantime I commend the Little Company and
myself to your prayers. In the love of Our Lord I
Your devoted confrere,
Richard McCullen C.M.