The Annals of Saint Anne Summary

Editor's desk

November - December 2018 by Lucie Ricard

A love-hate relationship with this season...

 

With its annoying little rain and sometimes its big cold drops, with its greyness, its temperature that drops every day, its falling leaves, its short days, the seasonal depression that is associated with it and its reference as the "month of the dead", the month of November ranks first in the list of months we love to hate.

 

But the end of November always comes to reconcile us with the season, causing a kind of excitement. We can see the light of the first Sunday of Advent, the happy surprise of the first holiday songs on the radio, the Christmas decorations, the colorful lights and, instantly, anxiety, sadness, the heaviness of November give way to a joyous impatience, a lighter step, a more spontaneous smile.

 

The wait often creates this feeling of joyous excitement. The wait for the arrival of Christmas more particularly, but also the holidays, the coming of children, a long-awaited outing, a reunion... all have the same effect on me. It seems that the longer and darker the moments before the event, the happier the day.  And, the very day is often preceded by many other small moments of happiness. These little moments arrive in our lives without us realizing it; we simply realize that they are there, as if by surprise and, already, we are happier. Advent, which leads towards Christmas, has that effect while preparing the heart for the final return of light and rejoicing.

 

Do not hate waiting and what it brings of morose. It must be accepted, follow suit. It is by not denying its bad sides that the wait will reveal its best aspects. It is a kind of "cleansing", "preparation" that is part of life. The nine months of pregnancy before the joy of holding a baby, the months of preparation and worries that precede a wedding or a long trip, the months of reflection before engaging in vows, the months of waiting near the garden before enjoying its fruits ... All waiting adds flavor to the arrival of what is expected. It is the same with November, this ungraceful month which has the very noble task of preparing us for the bright birth of the Savior and the joy that accompanies it. Let's go, let's dive into November with confidence, confidence that the preparation is underway to allow us to live fully what will inevitably happen and confident that we are not alone in this twilight, but well accompanied by a germ of great joy that is preparing to dawn.

 

I wish us all a rich, meaningful November.

 

Lucie

 

 

 

Spiritual Maturity

November-December 2018 by Sylvie Malaborsa

 

The gift of peace

 

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.” (Luke 2:14). Those words, spoken more than twenty centuries ago by angels to a small group of shepherds, remain relevant today because the world is constantly longing for peace.

The Gospels mention two kinds of peace.  The peace that has to do with our relationship with God and the peace that relates to our personal life experiences. The designation of the word is sometimes included in another expression.  For instance, the Hebrew word shalom is mostly used to greet people, to bid farewell, but it also means peace.  The Greek word eirene means unity and accord.  Saint Paul uses it to describe the objective of the new Church.

Peace is a wonderful gift and comes in various forms.  Countries at war pray that peace will end their sufferings. We do not have peace of mind when we are concerned about our health or are waiting for medical results. Parents constantly worry about their children; including those who have left the nest, particularly when they do not accept their life choices. Many people ache over the loss of a loved one. We are not at peace, when we are harassed at work or are no longer happy in a relationship. It is also hard to be serene when we lack money to pay our rent or our bills. We cannot appreciate the present moment when we notice the presence of bugs or rodents in our apartment and the end of the lease is far away and we cannot leave immediately. All these situations make it impossible to enjoy the peace of relaxation and relief.  Yet, Jesus tells us we should always be content.  “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. “ (John 16:33).

 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
  And the government will rest on His shoulders;
  And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
  Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

These words were made popular by Handel’s Messiah, presented worldwide during the Holiday season.  We should always ask Jesus, the Prince of Peace to come to our rescue.  The peace Jesus speaks about in the Gospels allows us to remain calm in the most fearful situations.  Jesus was so calm, so serene, so controlled, and so at peace during his trials.  That's the peace He gives to us.  It is complete fearlessness and trust.  Jesus said that, if we call on Him, He would give us the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension.  “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. “ (John 14:27)

During this Holiday season, let us wish for peace in the world and for our own peace of mind, the greatest Christmas present.