Friday, December 25, 2009

People facing many difficulties, says Brady

MANY PEOPLE in Ireland this Christmas are experiencing the “fullness of difficulties” with the recession, the unprecedented flooding and the “horrendous scandal of child abuse,” Catholic primate Cardinal Seán Brady has said in his Christmas message.

Quoting the prophet Isaiah, he said: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone. You have made their gladness greater, you have made their joy increase; they rejoice in your presence as men rejoice at harvest time.”

He said the prophesy “foretold the coming of Christ. When I hear it read at midnight Mass every Christmas Eve – it never fails to lift my heart. We all need at times to see a great light – especially when we find ourselves in darkness – the darkness of doom and gloom.

“Christ is our light – He breaks through the gloom, dispels the deepest darkness and enables us to understand the meaning and value of our own lives and indeed of all of history,” he said.

Through the centuries “the new born king has brought comfort and consolation to generations of people all over the world. Seeing the baby Jesus in the crib has given us strength through good times and bad . . . for in the fullness of difficult times Jesus was born and continues to be born,” he added. It was “precisely into this agonising, here and now of our world, our country and our church, that Jesus comes with his blessing.”

“We hope that as we prepare for Christmas we may be moved by the plight of the poor in our world and bring them Christ in practical ways of love and help,” he said.

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