Dear Members of the University Community,
As we look forward to the coming winter holidays, Christmas holds a special place for us, one with many memories, rich religious meaning, and deep emotional resonance. Wishes for joy, good will, and peace on earth rank high in our hopes for ourselves and for those we love. The pace and demands of the season, however, can dim this inner calm when social and family expectations run so high. We may also feel troubled by disasters in our world, such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, or by the sight of homeless people on our streets. In these situations it is often difficult to see the good in the world and to believe in the promise of the Prince of Peace.
In this Christmas season, we can draw inspiration by the generosity of so many who come to the aid of victims, refugees, and the poor. Such actions remind us that the light of compassion and justice continues to overcome the darkness of conflict and suffering. Displays of human kindness offer us signs of hope for a new and better age to come. I hope that you experience such inspiration and feel moved to show renewed patience, concern, and care for family, friends, and strangers.
During this prelude to Christmas and throughout the holidays, I am praying that you can take the break that your spirit needs. Make time to refresh your soul. And, like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young once sang, “Love the One You’re With;” show them the deeper affection that you feel. Here is where we can encounter the spark of divine life burning in each of our lives. I shall be praying for you at Christmas Mass that God blesses you and your loved ones now and throughout the coming new year.
With best wishes,
Michael E. Engh, S.J.