days before Christmas, among the cards on my desk, I chanced upon a fragment of
poetry from Alda Merini:
“… And how to get to know your face,
I will explain it to you:
it is enough to see something
that bears your imprint.
And we are full of your imprints,
as if you had passed through every home
leaving invisible signs”.
I would like to share this short text with you because
it presents us again, in a nutshell, the entire message of Christmas, including
what it affirms regarding human beings and what it requires of them.
also, it I think that it speaks in a clear way about our life and what is at
the center of our heart.
Jesus, the one long-awaited "by all
peoples", has come and now, by His birth, everyone knows His face through
every other neighbor, without distinction: in so far as you did this to one of
the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it to me (Mt 25:40).
remember that as a young woman I was struck by the phrase that I had to repeat
during the Christmas show performed with the companions of the community for
friends and acquaintances:
it is Christmas every time you smile at somebody.
In putting this phrase into practice, I realized that
I could not take it for granted or consider it easy, but
had to ask Jesus each time to come down from heaven so that I could “lend” my
smile to Him.
can I ask him to come down again? How can I lend my smile to him?
putting Love before everything and as the basis of everything.
Love is everything in every vocation, condition, and situation of life. Saint
Augustine, maestro of charity, strongly affirms: “All may sign themselves with
the sign of Christ's cross, all may answer Amen, all may sing Alleluia, all may
be baptized, all may come to church and line the walls of the basilicas. But
there is nothing to distinguish the children of God from the children of the
devil except unselfish love... If you do not have this one thing, nothing else
is worthwhile. If you lack all the rest, have this, and you have fulfilled the
Law ... ".
Thérèse of Lisieux also affirms: "Love of neighbor is everything on
earth: we love God in the measure in which we put it into practice".
had understood well that nothing can be done without charity being assured: one
cannot go to work, study, sleep, eat, play or evangelize ..., not even pray, or
participate in any liturgical action.
Gospel is very clear: "So then, if you are bringing your offering to the
altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,
leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your
brother or sister first, and then come back and present your offering"(see
Mt 5: 23-24).
many years have passed since that very young time of my life ... yet even now
and with the same passion of those days, I cannot go to sleep without having
said to Jesus: "today I have loved you in this person, in that one, and
again in that other person".
must tell the truth: there are also many times when I say to him: "Today I
have loved you little, indeed almost not at all, in this neighbor of mine, in
that one, again in that other one"; but because of the imprint of St.
Vincent Pallotti that is in me - as it is in every one of the Union - I am
happy to feel my nothingness, so the All that is Jesus can enter into my heart
and begin to truly love every person who crosses my path: "My God I am
without charity: You are charity in essence ... My Jesus destroy all of my
Life. Give me your Charity, and make me live, and be transformed into your
Charity "(OOCC X, 674-5).
a Pallottine family, we are bound, through our common spirituality, by a very
strong bond, the strongest that can exist: "Charity exercised as the
Apostle describes it forms all the substantial constituent of the pious Union;
if this were lacking, the Catholic Apostolate would no longer be in it"
(OOCC III, 137-138).
the smallest to the greatest we know that it is worth living like this! We know
that we are not made for half measures!
a very short time (24-27 January 2018) we will live the important days of the V
General Assembly of the entire Union. Each of us and all of us together will be
called to open out our own hearts to He who knows how to fill them, in order to
discern in communion and co-responsibility the path for the next three years.
now on may we renew and strengthen even more between, if possible, the
substantial constituent of charity, so that even as a single body, we can renew
the miracle of the birth of Jesus for the Church and for humankind.
communion and gratitude, we recite the:
Prayer to ask God’s
Blessing on the V Ordinary General Assembly of the Union
Most Holy Trinity,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
set our hearts on fire
with your love, the love of Christ.
Renew your miracle of
mercy in each one of us.
Bless the General
Assembly of the Union.
Through your Spirit, may
a profound experience of
with You and with each
of truly evangelical
in effective service of
in the Church and in the
May it bear lasting fruit
for the concrete life and
mission of the Union in our times
according to the plans of
We ask this through the
infinite merits of Jesus Our Lord
and through the unfailing
intercession of Mary, Queen of Apostles,
St. Vincent Pallotti and
Blessed Elisabetta Sanna, Josef Stanek and Josef Jankowski.
Glory be to You whose power working in us can do
Unione dell’Apostolato Cattolico
Piazza San Vincenzo Pallotti 204,
00187 Roma, Italia email@example.com
Alda Merini (1931-2009), Corpo d’Amore. Un incontro
con Gesù, 2001 (Body of Love. An
encounter with Jesus): “E come si fa
a conoscere il tuo volto, te lo spiego io: basta vedere qualcosa che reca la
tua impronta. E noi siamo pieni delle tue impronte, come se tu fossi passato in
ogni casa a lasciare segni invisibili”.
 Cf. SAINT AUGUSTINE, Homilies on the 1st
Letter of Saint John, Homily 5, vs. 7, (on 1 John 3:9–18),
http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/npnf107/cache/npnf107.pdf, p. 841.
 SAINT Thérèse
OF LISIEUX, from the deposition of Mother Agnes of Jesus in P.A, Summarium, p.