“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world” (Rom 1:8).
With autumn behind us, the Year of Faith coming to a conclusion, Christmas Day around the corner and snowflakes covering the ground on the feast day of Christ the King, I am reminded of a White Merry Christmas and how it all began. The Orientale Lumen which shines from Jerusalem (cf. Is 60:1; Rev 21:10), the city where the Word of God, made man for our salvation, a Jew “descended from David according to the flesh” (Rom 1:3; 2 Tim 2:8). Thanks to the Eastern Catholic Monks at Holy Resurrection Monastery, Saint Nazianz, Wisconsin where we, the LSOSF, were welcomed this past summer for our Annual Retreat. We were reminded about the development of the Apostolic Church and its diversity rooted in the Eastern faith traditions. Experiencing the full Byzantine Rite was phenomenal. We recapped liturgical communion for all humanity and for the whole cosmos and witnessed the reign of Christ’s Kingdom.
As the Monks reflected on their mission, a profound vision was sound and clear. They are the New Evangelizers, who are very conscious of being the living bearers of a traditional Church, fully acquainted with this treasure and thus feeling a passionate longing that the full manifestation of the Church’s catholicity be restored to the Church as a whole and to the world. The Monks are echoing what Blessed Pope John Paul II prompted all of us, who call ourselves faithful, asked us to do – be accustomed to our roots (Apostolic Letter, Orientale Lumen, 1995). Like the early Christians, we are called to know, live and share our faith. The light of the East has illumined the universal Church, from the moment when “a rising sun” appeared above us (Lk 1:78) as Jesus Christ, our Lord, whom all Christians invoke as the Redeemer of humanity and the hope of the world.
I believe that one important way to grow in mutual understanding of who we are and our unity in diversity consists precisely in improving our knowledge of one another. We implore Mary, the morning star in the rising of the sun of glory to deliver the Orientale Lumen. May Christ, the Orientale Lumen, soon, very soon, rekindle in us the faith to discover that in fact, despite so many differences, we have a lot in common and are very close and without knowing it, we are indeed walking towards the one Lord, and thus towards one another.
At Thanksgiving, when I gaze towards the Orientale Lumen, I apprehend the many blessings, even if I could register them, they number as the golden leaves shading from the trees in reparation to accept the season when Emmanuel son of David comes to warm the chilled faith with His Presence in our Church.
I am blessed to count you a fellow believer and pray that you stay blessed in God’s Presence as you journey together with me toward the Orientale Lumen.
Your fellow pilgrim in faith, Sr. Hermenegilde LSOSF
N.B: We continue to, please, pray for Sr. Lucy Marindany who lost a father towards the end of our retreat. May her entire family see the eternal light in this time of grief.
Also, in support for the Monks’ Ministry, consider $3 per month: https://squareup.com/market/holy-resurrection-community or stay connected with them firstname.lastname@example.org.