Father Alejandro Moral Antón addresses the entire Augustinian family to wish them a Merry Christmas and to share with all of us that in this environment of "war, inhuman political situations and repression", love is capable of changing everything or "better said, love leads us to face everything in a different way … Hope born of love helps us to see as grace that which previously did not make sense." Read the full message below
Dear Augustinian brothers, sisters and lay Augustinians,
Every Advent we repeatedly invoke: Come, Lord Jesus! It is a deep-rooted desire that, as 24 December draws near, is also growing in our hearts.
I have rarely seen such a longing for the coming of the Messiah expressed now so strongly among believers in different parts of the world. I think that perhaps it is due in part to disenchantment caused by wars, by the widening gap between rich and poor, by the increasing numbers of migrants and refugees everywhere due to inhuman political situations and repression.... Yet again we have squandered hope in human projects, always too selfish, instead of placing it in the only One who does not disappoint and whose Word never passes away.
In the midst of this darkness, the coming of the Lord appears as a true star of light and a note of hope. Before it, the heart opens wide to receive the Son of God and to be filled with his love. There is an abundance of joy and we live this time as a true gift. As salvation.
Today, as 2000 years ago, we need to take the approach that led the shepherds to listen to the voice and the song of the angels. It is silence that will help us to receive a message for which we thirst: for fraternity … for love … for God. We need to hear the word Peace. Let us live the silence and humility in which the Child arrives.
"I invite you this Christmas to be people of Peace"
Let us approach Him with simplicity. With an open heart. We need to heal our hearts with the love of God that his Son radiates to us and gifts to us his Son. The experience of freely given love renews us, makes us more ourselves, helps us in our relationships with others. We are hungry for Good News and this is the best news of all because in the Incarnation we discover that God is Love.
The encounter with Him leads us to renew our hope. To see our own life, the lives of others and the world in a new way. Let us live this moment, this encounter, profoundly and gratefully. God lowers himself, and becomes man. One more like us. He raises us up. He takes on our human nature to lead us to God. He frees us from all evils. With him darkness disappears, it turns into light. Now we can see the way. We can move forward without fear of falling. We are no longer blind because He is the light.
Love changes everything: sickness, poverty, selfishness, sadness, pain... or rather, love leads us to look at everything in a different light. Hope born of love helps us to see as grace that which in the past was meaningless.
With the coming of this Child, the angels announce Peace: "Peace on earth to people of good will." Peace is our most sought-after gift but it eludes us too easily because pride does not let us live in dialogue and fraternity, in communion together and moved by the most basic, yet most profound, of human feelings. I invite you this Christmas to be builders of Peace. Let us work for Peace; for inner Peace; for being people of Peace; for Peace among all people.
May the Love of God help us all to live as authentic brothers and sisters. In Peace. Building the Fraternity and the Common Home that the Creator has given us.
Merry Christmas to you all, dear Augustinian brothers, sisters and lay Augustinians!
Fr Alejandro Moral Antón
Prior General, OSA