|Cedric Prakash SJ karácsonyi levele, 2006 / Christmas letter of Cedric Prakash SJ, 2006|
The Message of Christmas is Peace : It’s the song of the Angels as they herald the “Newborn King”. It is a song which seems to have become mere “lip-service” as hate and violence continue to rule our lives and the world. The deep yearning continues in no uncertain terms for a world which is more secure, more peaceful.
This Christmas, we continue to pray that peace becomes a reality – in our lives and all over the world.
The Heart of Christmas is Love : The spontaneous expression of more than 33,000 children who reside in our Chattralayas throughout Gujarat. The sparkle in their eyes, the unfettered smile on their lips and the radiance on their cheeks is proof enough of the fact that there is a difference being made to their lives. This difference would not be possible, were it not for a very tangible expression of love from people who have never seen them.
This Christmas, we celebrate this love, with a prayer that it deepens and strengthens the bonds between us in the days and years ahead.
The Strength of Christmas is Caring : From January 2007, we enter the triennium of the International Year of Planet Earth. There is so much that is happening because we care so little for the Earth. Some parts of Gujarat were once again ravaged by severe floods. Gujarat seems to have seen it all: droughts, floods, cyclone, plague, epidemics and even a killer earthquake....in all this, the poor and the marginalized are the most affected. Gandhi put it very strongly : “Our earth has enough for everyone’s need but not for anyone’s greed”.
Christmas is a reminder that we need to care for our earth a great deal more.
The Wealth of Christmas is Sharing : There is so much sharing which we have experienced once again this past year. The sacrifice and generosity of people from all over. There have been some visits. Fr. Rupert Scherr from Austria, Sanna Akkanen from Finland, who spent a couple of weeks visiting our Chattralayas and participating in two mega-events (called bal vividha) which we organized for the Children. And now as we write this, we have here with us from Hungary Gyula Simonyi and his wife Agi, their daughter Cili and her husband Sziszi. They have been supporting the work of ESP together with several others from Hungary for more than thirty years now. They are now here to conduct Training Programmes on Global Education for several of the Teachers from our Chattralayas.
If this is not Christmas, what is ?
The Beauty of Christmas is Joy : That genuine, unbridled emotion be experience when we bask in the love of each other. That sense of acceptance and belonging that one is able to give another, irrespective of ones nationality, religion or class background, that ability to help make this world a better place, knowing fully well that all of us are created in the image and likeness of God. More often than not, we relegate the joy of Christmas to the material, to the eating and drinking and the expensive gifts and sometimes we do forget what Christmas is all about.
Can we put Christ back in the Christmas so that we can truly experience the beauty of Christmas joy ?
The Soul of Christmas is Hope : Our efforts in pursuing a campaign for human rights, justice and peace, is based on the “Christmas Hope”. We shall not give up. That is why, almost five years after the Gujarat Carnage, we are still hoping that those who need to see a new dawn will finally see it.
There were two important recognitions during the year. One from the Government of France when it conferred on me the “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur” and the other from the Indian Government’s National Commission for Minorities – “The Minorities Rights Award 2006”. One does not accept these awards as signs of achievements but rather, as a pointer that there is so much more to be done....yes, one should never lose HOPE !
Christmas invigorates us with this Hope: there will be a NEW DAWN.
The Essence of Christmas is Justice : One can really not see Christmas if one is unable to accept the fundament of Incarnation : God pitching His tent amongst us. In the proclamation of the “Good News” and in this, Justice is the essence. Our efforts through education has definitely been to promote this just society. Our endeavors in other spheres, has been an emphasis on that too.
When Christmas comes, we need to be challenged with God’s spirit.
The Spirit of Christmas is Truth : Exactly one hundred years ago, on September 11th 1906, Mahatma Gandhi launched his “Satyagraha” (“force of truth”) Movement in Durban, South Africa. He later on returned to India where he launched the Movement here. Unfortunately, our “Reality” is far away from the “Truth”. We continue to live in a world of falsehood, deception and untruth. Gandhi’s call is exactly what Jesus said several centuries earlier.....”The Truth shall make you free”.
We have been in our own ways, relentlessly pursuing the Truth, hoping that some day, our efforts would make a difference to the lives of some people.
The Key of Christmas is Gratitude : A “Thanksgiving” that Christmas is here with us once again, to remind us about what our world should be. It is time, once again, to say “Thank You” to so many of our benefactors and friends, for your generosity and sacrifices.
We pray that the blessings of Christmas be your’s this Season and all through 2007 !
All here in the ESP family, the children, the teachers, our co-workers, our collaborators, join me in this thanksgiving and greeting.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Love and prayers,
Please note : If you have been sponsoring a child/children through our Education Sponsorship Programme, the Annual Progress Report /s is/are enclosed herewith. Thanks once again for your support. !
Donations for EDUCATION SPONSORSHIP PROGRAMME may be made by cheque payable to GUJARAT EDUCATION
SOCIETY. The GUJARAT EDUCATION SOCIETY is a registered charitable organization : No. Guj.-366/Ahmedabad
Földrajzi hely (amirol szól): Gujarat (India)
Kirol szól (személyek): Simonyi Gyula
Kikrol szól (csoport): BOCS Alapítvány
Szerző: Prakash, Cedric SJ
Csoport, mozgalom, irányzat (ahonnan származik): Prashant