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Our meeting today began by speaking of the meaning of Christmas as the overturning of our human criteria, in order to emphasize that the heart and centre of the reform is Christ (Christocentrism).

I would like to conclude simply with a word and a prayer.  The word is to reiterate that Christmas is the feast of God’s loving humility.  The prayer is the Christmas message of Father Matta el Meskin, a monk of our time, who, addressing the Lord Jesus born in Bethlehem, said: “If for us the experience of (your) infancy is so difficult, it is not so for you, O Son of God.  If we stumble along the way that leads to communion with you because of your smallness, you are capable of removing all the obstacles that prevent us from doing this.  We know that you will not be at peace until you find us in your likeness and with this (same) smallness.  Allow us today, O Son of God, to draw dear to your heart.  Grant that we may not consider ourselves great in our experiences.  Grant us instead to become small like you, so that we can draw near to you and receive from you abundant humility and meekness.  Do not deprive us of your revelation, the epiphany of your infancy in our hearts, so that with it we can heal all our pride and all our arrogance.  We greatly need… for you to reveal in us your simplicity, by drawing us, and indeed the Church and the whole world, to yourself.  Our world is weary and exhausted, because everyone is vying to see who is the greatest.  There is a ruthless competition between governments, churches, peoples, within families, from one parish to another: Who of us is the greatest?  The world is festering with painful wounds because of this great illness: Who is the greatest?  But today we have found in you, O Son of God, our one medicine.  We, and the whole world, will not find salvation or peace unless we go back to encounter you anew in the manger of Bethlehem.  Amen.

Thank you, and I wish you a Holy Christmas and a Blessed New Year 2017!

Two years ago, when I spoke of illnesses, one of you came up and asked me: “Where do I have to go… to the pharmacy or to confession?”. “Well… both!”, I replied. And when I greeted Cardinal Brandmüller, he looked me in the eye and said: “Acquaviva!” At the time, I didn’t understand, but, later, thinking about it, I recalled that Acquaviva, the fifth Father General of the Society of Jesus, had written a book that we students read in Latin. The spiritual directors made us read it and it was entitled: Industriae pro Superioribus ejusdem Societatis ad curandos animae morbos, that is, on curing illnesses of the soul. Three months ago, a very good edition came out in Italian, done by the late Father Giuliano Raffo, with a good introduction. It is not a critical edition, but it is a very fine translation, very well done, and I believe it could be helpful. As a Christmas gift, I would like to give it to each of you. Thank you.



Tot leden van de Romeinse Curie bij gelegenheid van het uitwisselen van de Kerstwensen 2016
Soort: Paus Franciscus - Toespraak
Auteur: Paus Franciscus
Datum: 22 december 2016
Copyrights: © 2016, Libreria Editrice Vaticana / Radio Vaticana / Stg. InterKerk
Gedeeltelijke vert. uit het Frans (Zenit.org): maranatha-gemeenschap, rest voorlopig Engelstalige versie;
alineaverdeling en -nummering: redactie
Bewerkt: 28 april 2022


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