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Christmas Greetings 2017

Dear Friends,

As a child in December’s weeks of Advent, I eagerly awaited the glowing of Christmas lights everywhere. I still do. Now with a better understanding of starlight as the predominant symbol of Christmas, I retrace my annual journey to Bethlehem differently.

The first words of God in the Book of Genesis are “Let there be light, and there was light.” Later the Prophet Isaiah clearly knew, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwell in a land of gloom, a light has shown.” We are indebted to St. Matthew who recorded that astrologers from the east were guided by a star, “they had observed at its rising, went ahead of them until it came to a standstill over the place where the child was.”

Now I relight my candle of love and gratitude for my parent’s Christmas card received many years ago. This nativity scene tenderly written by my mother is a lifetime gift.

Et Incarnata Est

This is night of the shepherds, the homeless, the broken, and the poor.
All who seek Him may enter. The manger hath never a door.

This is the joy of the angels, A burning star in the East;
The whispered hope of the humble, the grieving, the lowly, the least.

The Word is made flesh in the silence; Joseph beholds it in awe;
The mystery, this, of a queenly Maid whose throne is a handful of straw.

Now is the hour of lambkins; not yet is the time of the Kings;
this is the glory of Childhood, the night of all helpless things.

So long foretold by the prophets, with respite from strife and from war.
This is the night of Peace on Earth from atom unto Star!

Marie T. Desaulniers—Christmas 1948

Over five years ago I moved into the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Congregation’s new home for the aging and infirm, Our Lady of Peace Residence on the Marywood campus. My vocation continues to be rooted in God through the ministry of prayer. Daily I remain present and “at home” with you and with our departed loved ones who are eternally joyful in God’s presence. Mindful of the erupting violence around the globe, we pray for strengthening bonds of peace and goodness throughout our beautiful, but wounded world. We are thankful for the liturgical services and other beneficial presentations available by closed circuit TV.

May nothing dim the gift of the birth of the Christ Child and his blessing as we enter a New Year. Wishing you a Holy and Merry Christmas and asking for a remembrance in your prayer,

Lovingly, Sister Eleanor Desaulniers, IHM