Letter of the Fr. Benoit Guédas, the Shrine of the Sacred Heart Sanctuary in Paray-le-Monial ( France), entrusted to the Emmanuel Communtiy

Dear friends,

What are the criteria for a good year? This year has pushed us around, made us more aware of our finiteness. The perspective of the sky has become more perceptible.

From Heaven, the year of our passage from death to life will probably be seen as a good year: a year of reunion with those who have gone before us, a year of hope to one day find those we are leaving behind, a year of coming face to face with the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of peace. Then we will say peacefully, strengthened by our experience: “if I cross the ravines of death, I will fear no evil, for his rod guides me and reassures me.”

Seen from the Earth, for those who have seen their loved ones leave, mourning and loneliness are even more vivid during the end of the year celebrations. And if we believe in eternal life, our hope is embodied today in painful silences or absences. I want to assure you of our prayers: may the hope of those who have gone before us be ours. And that while we wait for this reunion, we may, in turn, build this civilization of love we are so much longing.

The year 2020 was for all of us an opportunity to persevere in faith amid many trials. We have all experienced our fragility. We have been able to hear God propose to be our strength in our weaknesses. The Lord strengthens the inner man… He reaches us in many ways and primarily through the charity of our brothers.

Let us ask that in this new year 2021, more than uncertain, we know how to take advantage of the present time to build the kingdom of God in Heaven and on Earth… God has placed his creation in our hands. Let us pray that, together with Saint Joseph, in this Laudato Si year, we will know how to take care of it: of the Earth, of men, and ourselves under the gaze of the Blessed Trinity.

At the invitation of the Pope, let us place ourselves in the hands of Saint Joseph and the saints dear to Saint Margaret Mary. Let us repeat with her: “The Blessed Virgin will be my good mother and for protectors, St. Joseph and my holy Founder (St. Francis de Sales). The good father of La Colombière is given to me as my director to teach me to fulfill this adorable Heart’s plans, per his maxims. “(retreat of 1590)

Fr. Benoit Guédas,
Rector of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart

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