December 4, 2021
Dear Confreres, Sisters and Lay Associates,
It is with great joy that I greet you as we prepare to celebrate with Mary the Solemnity of her Immaculate Conception during this season of Advent. As St. Alphonsus reminds us in The Glories of Mary, it is under this title of the Immaculate Conception that Mary is the principal patroness of our Congregation.
During this season of Advent, we remember the constant assertion of St. Alphonsus that in the Blessed Virgin Mary, God’s power meets God’s compassion – and from this ‘meeting’ the Word becomes flesh and dwells among us! May she accompany us during this Advent so that we may welcome our Redeemer with renewed hope, especially during the pandemic which continues to threaten our world.
Brothers and Sisters, within a few weeks, we will begin the first First Phase Meeting of our 26th General Chapter. This is a time of intense preparation, not only for Christmas, but especially to re-imagine our Redemptorist identity and mission in the wounded world today. Together with Mary, our Mother and our model, may we be faithful witnesses to the Redeemer so that we may also bring God’s compassion and mercy to all.
I conclude these brief words with a prayer of St. Alphonsus for this feast:
“Ah, my Immaculate Lady, I rejoice with you to see you enriched with such great purity … I wish that the whole world knew you and confessed you to be that beautiful Dawn, always illumined by the light of God; that Chosen Ark of salvation, free from the shipwreck of sin that afflicts us all … and in everything, a friend of your Creator. Grant that I might always remember you; and may you never forget me. It seems like a thousand years before I can see your beauty in paradise, to prayer and love you, ‘mamma mia’, my Queen, my beloved, my most beautiful, most gentle, most pure Immaculate Mary. Amen.”
May God bless you all through the prayers of Mary, our Immaculate Mother and Companion!
In Christ our Redeemer,
Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.