This Christmas is a very special Feast, taking place as it does during this very unique year that started on the 8th of December 2015 and that will finish with the Solemnity of Christ the King, on 20th of November. It is a year, in accordance with the wishes of the Holy Father, in which the floodgates will be opened to allow the torrents of God's mercy to flow freely upon us all. Indeed, this year is dedicated to the discovery and deepening of God's Mercy, making it a year of inestimable value.
Christmas is the second major Feast in the Liturgical Year after Easter, and this means that each one of us – those who are both close to as well as far from God – is invited to receive a very special and powerful healing Grace. The Mercy of God is manifest in a very unique way each Christmas: again and again we can live that moment where humanity was expecting a Saviour, a Messiah. He is God's Gift, given freely, where He humbles himself and reaches out to each one of us. In the Baby Jesus, the Most High does not ask us to climb the heights to reach Him – He himself comes to us in an overwhelming act of Mercy.
This year, therefore, the School of Mary will follow the intentions of the Pope and do its best to deepen our experience of God's Mercy.
As you know the School is a place for teaching Spiritual Life. “Teaching” is an act of Spiritual Mercy. The School sees the great poverty of today's world, especially the First World which thinks it has the means and the power, which considers itself to be highly civilised, but does not know how poor it is spiritually, how needy it has become. The half-dead man of the Parable of the Good Samaritan is often before us in the First World, waiting for somebody to come and take good care of him, giving him the Spiritual Doctrine that can restore him to real Life, giving his life Light, Guidance and Meaning.
Let us, in the School of Mary, humbly renew our commitment to serve Spiritual Life and Spiritual Theology. It is a very hard mission, and even if the door is wide open very few undertake it. Let us entrust ourselves to Mary, as God the Father entrusted to Mary and Joseph his Eternal Son, incarnate as a little Baby.
May the Lord bless us all and bless our families, and may He give us plenty of Graces especially this year, day after day, so we can discover, deepen and dwell in God's Mercy for ever.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to read, meditate and put into practice the Pope's Letter on Mercy (please click here to find it); it embodies a very deep message which is essential and to the point for all of us Christians. Mercy is not optional in the Gospel, it is God's Face, it is our Way to Him...
The teaching this year in the School of Mary will pay special attention to Mercy in Spiritual Life. A new and very exciting Course on the Sermon of the Mount will be announced soon which will be open to everybody. Further courses for 2016 will be announced at the appropriate times.
Counting on your prayers as always, I wish each and every one of you a Happy Christmas filled with the choicest blessings, and graced by the Presence of Our Lady.