Day 2 – Christmas Novena
The theme of the second day of our Christmas novena is “Communion within the Province/Region”. We unite with all the Sisters of our Province/Region, see them in our mind’s eye and support them with our prayer. For a moment of silence, we travel inwardly to the various places where our sisters are living.
Lord, we wait with longing for your coming into our world.
You are already here and yet you constantly wish to become incarnate and
encounter us in every person, also, and especially, in our fellow sisters.
Open our hearts for you and for one another,
so that we may recognize you and allow you to transform us through your merciful compassion.
We ask this in your name, you who live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit now and forever. Amen.
The Life boat Station
A long time ago, on a dangerous coast that had already proved to be the doom of many ships, there was a small, very poor lifeboat station. The building was no more than a hut and there was only one boat; but the handful of volunteers served constantly as coastguards and, day and night, ventured out tirelessly and without regard for their own safety to rescue castaways.
Thanks to this small base, so many people were saved that it soon became known everywhere. Many of those who were saved and other people from the surrounding area were now very willing to sacrifice time, money and energy to support the station. They bought new boats and trained new teams. The small station grew and prospered. Many patrons of the station no longer liked the lowly and poorly equipped building.
Those rescued needed a more comfortable place as their first refuge. Therefore, the temporary camp beds were replaced by proper beds and the extended building was equipped with better furniture. But this made the lifeboat station increasingly popular with people as a place to stay; they made it even more comfortable as it served them as a kind of clubhouse.
Fewer and fewer volunteers were willing to join a rescue mission. So they hired a separate crew for the lifeboats. After all, the coat of arms of the lifeboat service still decorated the rooms everywhere, and a model of a large lifeboat hung from the ceiling of the room where the arrival of a new club member was generally celebrated.
About this time a large ship foundered off the coast and the hired sailors returned with whole boatloads of freezing, soaked and half drowned people. Among the dirty and exhausted castaways were foreigners and strangers.
An uproar broke out in the splendid clubhouse. Consequently, immediately afterwards the administration committee had shower cabins built outdoors so that the shipwrecked people could be thoroughly cleaned before entering the clubhouse.
At the next meeting there was a dispute among the members. Most of them wanted to stop the rescue service because it was uncomfortable and obstructed the normal activities of the club. Some, however, argued that lifesaving was the primary task, and that it was called a “lifesaving station”. They were quickly outvoted.
They were told that if the lives of all these battered, shipwrecked types were so important to them, they could open their own lifeboat station somewhere else. That’s what they did.
Years went by and the new station changed just like the first. It became a clubhouse, and so a third sanctuary was founded. But here, too, the old tale repeated itself.
If you visit that coast today, you will find a considerable number of exclusive clubs along the coastal road. The coast is still dangerous; it is still fateful for many ships; only – most of the shipwrecked sailors drown.
Questions for personal contemplation and sharing
- What thoughts and associations come to me when I hear this story?
- Are there comparable developments in the history of our Province/Region?
- Has the mission of our Province/Region changed over the course of time? Why?
Lord, you still come into our world today and wish to be incarnate in it.
We pray: God of our life – hear our prayer
- Show us ways in which we can faithfully fulfil your call and our mission today.
- Transform our hearts with your merciful compassion.
- Help us to discover your countenance in every person we meet.
- Send us people who are especially in need of your compassion.
- Let the communities of our Province/Region become places where God is encountered.
- May the deceased Sisters of our Province/Region live with you in all eternity.
Lord, you fill us with joy at this time of waiting for your coming. Glory to you forever. Amen.
When we engage with each other
and stay together
are honest and genuine
and do away with empty words
and listen kindly
protect the delicate
and strengthen the weak
bear sorrows together
and rejoice at the success of others
regard obstacles as possibilities
and think ahead
give loving accompaniment
and sincere thanks
instead of holding on
give space and encouragement
to follow one’s own path
then Christmas will come.
Lord, bless us and let Christmas come in our Province/Region. We make our prayer in the name of the Triune God, + Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.