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Christmas Greetings from the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada

Christmas has come once again in a world that holds so much violence and has caused so many in our world to flee their homelands seeking a place where they will be welcomed and offered shelter and safety. We long for the peace and harmony that seems implicit in the message the Angels brought on that first Christmas morn. If there is to be healing and love then something has to change. Perhaps more accurately a question we each must ask ourselves is, “how do I need to change?”

Recently, I read a piece on Facebook posted by Parker Palmer, an educator and a Quaker. He offers a bit of wisdom that might serve all of us well and carry us into a new year. He calls it a principle that he says applies to every part of his life—personal, professional and political: Nothing new can grow between us when we speak to one another from “the place where we are right;” He goes on to suggest that this requires the virtue of humility. The root of the word humility is the same root as the word humus. Humus helps plants of grow and humility helps new thinking grow!

No matter where we meet one another or what the history is between us, things change for the better when we talk with each other not from our certainties but from out doubts and loves. Shining the light on our differences rarely resolves these disputes, but understanding that even with our differences we love the same things—our families, our communities, our country and our natural world. 

We may differ on what ought to be done. But, instead of beginning by arguing about solutions—about the place we believe we are right—what if we began by sharing our loves and our doubts? This is where we find a rich and human common ground.

Many of us will gather in churches and communities and with our families—with the people with whom we live and work, to celebrate the feast of Christmas. Here we remember that God has come to dwell among us and invites us to learn how to live in new ways.

The Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada wish all who follow us through our Website, Facebook and Twitter a Christmas full of peace. May the hope that was born that silent, holy night remain in your heart throughout the year.

Sister Joan Atkinson, on behalf of all our Sisters.

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Copyright 2013. Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.