Pope Francis wrote a lovely letter recently to us all from the Shrine of the Nativity at Greccio, the site of the First Christmas Crib set up by St Francis of Assisi in December 1223. He concluded his reflections on the beauty of the Christmas Crib as follows:
“Dear Brothers and Sisters, the Christmas Crib is part of the precious but demanding process of passing on the faith. Beginning in childhood and at every stage of our lives, it teaches us to contemplate Jesus, to experience God’s love for us, to feel and believe that God is with us and that we are with him, his children, Brothers and Sisters all, thanks to that child who is Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, and to realise that in that knowledge we find true happiness. Like St Francis may we open our hearts to this simple grace, so that from our wonderment a humble prayer may arise, a prayer of thanksgiving to God, who willed to share with us his all, and thus never to leave us alone.”
In union with our Holy Father I wish you a very happy and holy Christmas, and the peace of Christ in the year ahead.
Bishop of Motherwell