The Annals of Saint Anne Summary
November - December 2023
Christmas Is Love!
Christmas began with an unexpected encounter. An angel presented God’s promise. It was the Annunciation. How Mary must have meditated and pondered these extraordinary words in her heart! Christmas is, therefore, first and foremost, a woman, Mary, chosen and blessed by God. A woman who believed in the Word. It was at this moment that she welcomed God and said “Yes.” She trusted Him and offered herself to Him.
Then, the time to give birth arrived. On the road, away from home and in great poverty, Mary and Joseph welcomed the Son of God in a manger. In a lowly stable, with nothing, they were there on that night when everything changed. The wait was over. Christmas is God making Himself present amongst us. He is here.
Christmas Is Love!
How happy Mary must have been! Her eyes could see. Christmas then became for her the fulfilment of God’s promise, a birth. As a Mother, she welcomed her child in her arms, close to her. She could feel His gentle warmth, His heartbeat, His delicate skin.
But is Christmas not also about being welcomed by this vulnerable, fragile child? Because Mary was welcomed in that moment, this mysterious exchange from which great tenderness radiates.
Today, what remains of that first Christmas morning? God is waiting for us. He is here, always, Emmanuel, God amongst us. And we, must we, like Mary, not renounce ourselves and welcome this Child? May these words of Mary be our humble prayer at Christmas, “Behold, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
Merry Christmas 2023 and Happy and Holy New Year 2024!
Editor-in-Chief of the Annals of Saint Anne
New Year's Greetings
Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix - Archbishop of Québec
Rekindle Our Hope
It seems more and more difficult for us to include the word Happy in our traditional greetings that we exchange as we begin the new year. We hear of so much upheaval and turmoil from war, of the cries of distress of hungry people and those who are homeless and wander the streets, of those in exile, even here in our own cities, that indifference or an attitude of apathy could so easily emerge. It is as if peace were only wishful thinking for which responsibility should fall on others, including heads of state, as well as local and international charitable organizations.
And yet, Christmas announces the perpetual and reassuring presence of Jesus, the Prince of Peace in our world. He is the one, who without a doubt, proclaims the importance of our desire and wishes for peace and happiness since He helps us make them come true.
It is the Holy Spirit who breathes into us the wishes of a Happy New Year which we transmit with all the joy, thoughtfulness and sincerity possible in the first days of the new year. And if we ensure that all our gestures of welcoming, reconciliation, mutual aid, love and friendship become genuine acts which gradually transform our daily lives, would we not become true advocates of peace and authentic witnesses of God's plan for our world?
We have no reason to lack confidence in a future where peace cannot come since God rekindles our hope and renews the fire of love in the very depth of our hearts. By the power of prayer as a cure to any possible apathy, let us repeatedly pray these words of Pope Francis:
Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!
Open our eyes and our hearts, instill in
our hearts the courage to take concrete steps
to achieve peace. Keep alive within us the
flame of hope, so that with patience and
perseverance we may opt for dialogue
and reconciliation. In this way, may peace
triumph at last. Amen!
Happy and Holy New Year 2024!