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Dr. Rowan Williams, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, addressed the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican about the central role of contemplation in helping people rediscover the beauty of the Christian faith.

Drawing deeply on the writings of some of the great Catholic authors and theologians from the time of the Second Vatican Council, the archbishop said contemplation is the only real “answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial systems and advertising culture…..encourage us to inhabit”. Those who “know little and care less about the institutions and hierarchies of the Church” today, he continued, are often attracted and challenged by lives that show justice and love reflected in the face of God. In particular he pointed to the crucial work and witness of communities like Taizé and Bose, or networks like St Egidio, the Focolare or Communion and Liberation, who bring fresh expressions of faith and transcend the historic divisions between Christians.

I think we Lay Salvatorians are in the same line and it is our task to celebrate a mindful Advent. It’s a call for us, to use contemplation and action in a good balance as a tool for the new evangelization.

Now we ignite the first candle. Let us take a short time to remember on the calls of our daily life, on the calls of people, which need our help, our being with them, our prayers – or only that we do not forget them. Advent is a time of much contemplation – if we allow it … So let’s start in a very specific time for us Christians.


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