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Thursday, 23 December 2021 18:01

A Message for Christmas by Fr. Míceál O'Neill, Prior General

Sisters and brothers in the Carmelite Family,

On my own behalf and on behalf of the General Council I pray that this Christmas will heal our wounds, give us new hope and reveal to us again the depths of God’s love for the world.

This is a world in which many will not celebrate Christmas because it does not mean anything to them, many would love to celebrate Christmas but cannot do so because of the difficulties in their lives, many will celebrate Christmas but without any attention to Jesus, and many will celebrate Christmas with a full sense of its meaning.

The Son of Man came for all of us, for every man and woman on this earth, but particularly for the people who recognise their need of salvation. Once again we hear the call of the prophet, urging us to make space in our lives for the One who has come in the name of the Lord. If we make space for the One who comes, we will also make space for others.

Christmas is always a time for thinking about others, not about ourselves. Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not count equality with God a thing to be held on to. (Phil 2,6). He emptied himself in order to show us how to be truly human, one who came for others, not for himself, standing for the dignity of his brothers and sisters, not for his own. This essential truth of living for others we see in Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

We find it also in the lives of our saints, with particular attention this year to the life and witness of Blessed Titus Brandsma.

This year, for the second time we will celebrate Christmas under the cloud of the coronavirus. Once again we are being asked to think of others, and to protect one another by doing everything that is necessary to stop the spread of the virus.

With our minds and hearts firmly fixed on Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and with the care we have for one another we will be able to celebrate Christmas with all its meaning.

May you all, in your individual lives, in your communities and in your families be blessed with all that our Saviour desires to give to all those who are open to receive his gift.

 Watch here

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