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Advent letter Fr. Richard McCullen, CM

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Advent letter Fr. Richard McCullen, CM 1981

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Advent letter Fr. Richard McCullen, CM

  1. 1. 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.
  2. 2. From my room here in Rome, I can just see in the distant horizon the cupola of the dome of St. Peter’s through the branches of some Roman pines.
  3. 3. When my eye catches sight of it, I invariably think of the wealth of history that lies beneath that cupola and of the bones of Peter which shelter under it.
  4. 4. Then my mind travels to the Lake of Galilee and across the hill country of Judea to Bethlehem where Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary.
  5. 5. At times I find myself reflecting on the contrast between the massive magnificence of St. Peter's and the simplicity of life beside the Lake of Galilee and of the still starker simplicity that surrounded the birth of Jesus in a cave at Bethlehem.
  6. 6. Yet that contrast is pale in comparison with the contrast that is to be found within he Incarnation itself. In human experience there is no greater contrast than that within the dimensions of one frail human body there should be found « the fullness of Him Who fills the whole creation ». (Eph. 1:23).
  7. 7. 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, being rich, became poor for our sake. (2 Cor. 8 :9) Then he decided to go and do likewise himself.
  8. 8. The mystery 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 only if it is born of our relationship with Jesus Christ, truly God and truly man.
  9. 9. 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 and Penance.
  10. 10. 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.
  11. 11. 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 remain, Your devoted confrere, Richard McCullen C.M. Superior General

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