Brother Charles De Foucauld

North American Jesus Caritas Communities
December 13th, 2012

Advent reflection and greeting

Dear brothers and sisters of the Lay Fraternity,



Luis and Adriana from Argentina, our Continental Responsables (for the Americas), sent along this beautiful meditation by Fr Rene Voillaume for our prayer and reflection during this Advent season which seems to be flying by.  Stella from Mt Vernon was kind enough to translate it for us.  I ask you to share it with your fraternities.


The only news I have to pass on is that at the Community Representatives Meeting last month in Tarrytown, the group decided to adopt a co-responsable model of leadership/service for our North American region. I’m delighted to announce that Ciro from Montreal has agreed to serve a 4 year term and I will serve an interim term of 2 years. My thanks to everyone who participated, we had a fruitful discussion and encounter. As usual, the Transfiguration fraternities were very welcoming in their hospitality and this in the context of the loss of their beloved Sr Marcellus who went to the Lord the Sunday before our meeting. Many thanks to Mary D, Onalis, Lucy and Sr Peggie for their generosity and kindness.


I have at least a couple of more documents I will send on as well. They are in Spanish and one includes English translation. I’m looking for volunteers to translate some documents from Spanish to English. Thank you to Stella for helping out.


Here is the text of Fr Voillaume:




1- In the midst of being certain that we are united by a growing fraternal love and of building a true family, Christmas shall be imposed in us, like the day which by excellence we become aware of the purest and simplest source of happiness, which represents a family united in a mutual love, specially when this love is a reflection of the love which God has loved the world, through his son, the Baby which was born unto us.


2- In the presence of the gift of life, which was given to us through the Virgin Mary, that we may behave like children, by the spontaneity entrusted by the love and forgetfulness of our indignity. God desires and loves us like this. Maybe we have the scruples to feel this happiness, while alongside us manifest worldwide disgrace and the anguish of millions of beings. The mystery of Christmas is the only source of hope for all men, and our mission will be to be witnesses.


3- We have to receive this mystery and allow us to empty, impoverish, purify and transfigure for him. There is no opposition between the pureness of our happiness and the suffering of the remaining souls: we form one body in us and for us, the joy of Christmas should manifest more in humanity. The world needs to re-learn the pure and simple joy of a poor heart given to God and to love. It’s about the mystery of our election by God, and this should be like Mary’s heart, a Magnificat of the soul. The vision of the sufferings and the miseries of humanity did not silence this hymn on Mary’s lips.


4- Our fraternities should bring the contemplation of the mystery of Jesus’ love in the heart through the entire life. We should be willing to demonstrate in a living experience, what grace can do, in the weakness of human ways. Let us bring the contemplation to the compromised humanity. Our prayer should elevate like a supplicant adoration, filled with the sufferings of humanity. The way of our contemplative and active life will be an offering, an adoration in the name of our brothers.



Praying that we can all take part in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, in the great “Magnificat of the the soul” as we accompany in these days the Holy Family on its way to Bethlehem, that the Word will become flesh in our hearts and day to day lives, “that the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as water covers the sea” (Is 11:10).



In loving and fraternal service,



Frank, with Ciro



North American Lay Fraternities of Charles de Foucauld