Cardinal Brady Reflects on the Darkness of Christmas

Says God Has Sent the Purest, Brightest Light

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ARMAGH, Ireland, DEC. 22, 2011 ( The archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Seán Brady released today his Christmas message.

As a boy, he said, going out into the winter darkness on Christmas Eve he would see the twinkling lights in all the houses that provided reassuring comfort on a cold, dark night.

Darkness, he commented, «is a powerful metaphor for the many painful experiences that can overshadow our lives.»

This darkness can be the current difficult economic times, or when we have been hurt, or it can be the darkness of sin and our tendency «to let selfishness and pride block our immense capacity for generosity and love.»

«The simple, compelling truth we celebrate at Christmas is that into all of this darkness, God has sent us the purest and brightest light of all. He has sent his only Son, so that we might have life and have it to the full,» he declared. 

«He came, not as a powerful, commanding leader but as a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, born in the lowliness of a manger,» the prelate added.

The birth of our Savior, Cardinal Brady commented, communicates to us God’s commitment to the future of humanity. God offered us salvation in a way that is both simple yet compelling.

«What had more hope of challenging the selfishness, pride and greed that threaten to destroy us than the simplicity, dignity and wonder of a new born child?»

The uncluttered and compelling intimacy of the manger sets us free from our concern over having rather than being, he said. We yearn for a world that is gentler, kinder and less complicated.

The cardinal said his hope and prayer for this Christmas is that each one of us will rediscover the hope and joy of that first Christmas. He also prayed that Ireland will become a gentler, kinder and more compassionate place.

«I pray that the generosity, reverence for God and respect for God’s creation that has been our hallmark and gift to the world since the time of St. Patrick, will continue to break through the many dark clouds that have engulfed our country in recent years.»

Commenting on next year’s Eucharistic Congress that will be held in Dublin in June he added that he also prayed for all those who as a result of anger, hurt, or disillusionment are no longer connected to their local parish, will rediscover the joy, hope and love of faith.

«May Christ, and his life and goodness, be born in each of us and in our country this Christmas and may we find in him our greatest hope in challenging times.»

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