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Advent 2015

Stand up and raise your heads high, because your redemption is at hand. Luke 21:28

Dear Sisters,

Advent is near! In this time of waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, I desire to embrace each Sister with a gesture of cordial love and to share my reflection on this season. It is so beautiful and unique that we shall not allow it to pass like a gust of wind.

The mystery of this time lies in silence. Let us discover anew the value and healing of tranquility with its power and its beauty, because in silence new life conceives, nature reawakes, love is born, and music and poetry are created. In silence we can discover our Creator, and only in this silence can we hear His Word.

Advent is approaching - St. Sister Faustina wrote in her Diary: "I want to prepare my heart for the coming of the Lord Jesus by silence and recollection of spirit, uniting myself with the Most Holy Mother and faithfully imitating her virtue of silence, by which she found pleasure in the eyes of God Himself. I trust that by her side, I will persevere in this resolution.” (Diary1398).

To talk to His people, God chose "the voice of a calm breeze" (1 Kings 19:12). To recognize God and to hear Him, we also need silence. Let us remember that it is in tranquility that God still speaks… so let us not drown Him out.

The mystery of this Season lies in joyful awaiting for the Son of God. Our model is Mary and her joyful Fiat. Advent reminds us that our whole life is an awaiting. In our earthly pilgrimage we always aim toward something, search for something, and desire for something. Here expressed is the beauty of our life that is always awaiting for another person, a desire for something, but most of all it awaits for the coming of Christ. Therefore, let us long to live our daily life and all that comes with joy and gratitude. May this daily joyful awaiting become a mutual sharing and enrichment with those whom we meet, we live, we work, and we visit … so that we will be ready for the Coming of our Lord.

The mystery of Advent lies in the virtue of hope, which only our Lord Jesus can give - the same yesterday and today and forever (cf. Hebrew 13,8). He is the true meaning of our today, because He is our sure future. He is our Hope, which awakes us to vigilance - a vigilance in prayer filled with joyful hope of awaiting; to zeal in doing good; and to building life in our communities; Hope which calls us to constant vigilance that we do not fall.

Advent first of all is a time of Mercy, which calls us to be forgiving and kindhearted toward everyone. In our daily routine this requires us to carry a true and disinterested love, to turn away from evil, and be patient and open toward the frail and poor.

If God is toward us disinterested merciful, forgiving, compassionate, and loving, then may nothing hold us back from sharing His love and mercy with others.

Dear Sisters, in this Advent Season of spiritual preparation let us turn to Mary our Blessed Mother to help us enter into this time of grace, and also into the coming Holy Year of Mercy. May we accept with joy and responsibility the coming of God in our individual, communal, and social life. I pray that we will experience this joyful mystery of faith, which leads us to the Nativity of the Son of God.

United in prayer in this Season of Advent,

 

Sr. Izabela Świerad, SAC

Superior General

Rome, Advent 2015

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* Our Way of Life *

 

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)