November 2021

From 2021-11-28 to 2021-12-24


Holy Mary, woman of waiting, ease the pain of mothers suffering for their sons who once left home and never returned, killed in an accident or seduced by the calls of the jungle; scattered by the fury of war or sucked up by the whirlwind of passions; swallowed up by the fury of the ocean or overwhelmed by the storms of life.

Holy Mary, virgin of expectation, give us a watchful soul. Having arrived at the threshold of the third millennium, we unfortunately feel more like sons of the twilight than prophets of the Advent. Sentinel of the morning, awaken in our hearts the passion of fresh news to bring to a world that already feels old. Bring us at last the harp and the zither, so that with you, morning, we may awaken the dawn.

In the face of the changes that shake history, give us to feel on our skin the shivers of the beginnings. Make us understand that it is not enough to welcome, we must wait. Welcoming is sometimes a sign of resignation. Waiting is always a sign of hope. Therefore, make us ministers of waiting. When the Lord comes, O Virgin of Advent, may he surprise us, thanks to your maternal complicity, with the lamp in your hand.

Mgr Tonino Bello

Translated with (free version)

From 2021-09-23 to 2021-11-23


Daily news which is part of my life, keeps informing me that there are currently many people living in desperate conditions, unable to get out of their misery, and the good Samaritans are insufficient. When great catastrophic events take place, there are always the official care-takers who are at work with their admirable competence; however, there are numerous small catastrophes during a lifetime which are unattended and these can gradually lead to greater disasters. I  therefore ask myself, without judging or accusing anyone—could the family circle be a privileged place for its members to learn good behavior, to avoid hurtful insults or blame, to come to the rescue of those who are abandoned and left to themselves? Are families aware that, somewhat like Jesus, they are first hand pedagogues in the way they teach their children the art of being attentive to the other, and, by their example, show how to apply the balm of tenderness?



The family has a direct influence on the children’s development;  parents guide them toward finding a true sense of self, they teach them to ‘wait’ without getting edgy, to share willingly what they have, to endure even though it bleeds. Parents play a fundamental role in forming the values of children. They are ‘key’ in helping children to humbly realize that they have strengths and limitations, that truth is to be spoken, that silence and solitude are important, that forgiveness is a must, that to serve the one most in need is very rewarding, and to be attentive to the environment is a responsibility.

The goal of education is to develop a child’s capacity to an attentive awareness, to an awakened presence of the other. At a time when much of the focus is on play, distractions, entertainment, when the ‘me, me, me’ takes center stage, when the ‘me’ is too distracted to seeing dangers, there is a risk of making mistakes. Who then will help out the child before it is too late? There can be no other but the family; only the family can humanize our society. Educating a child to be attentively aware of the ‘other’ is a blessing for the whole of society.

Jesus did not propose a family model but sensitized his entourage to the presence and importance of little children “for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Lk 18: 15.17). In other words, the fullness of LIFE is theirs. LIFE will be victorious not when the deficit zero will be reached or when churches will be full, but rather when society will become more humane, and when the family circle will be a place where attentiveness and tenderness are learned. What do we teach our children today? To what kind of messages do we expose them? In what direction do we draw their attention? To whom do we entrust our children? What time do we have with them? And during those hours, what content, what kind of conversation do we engage in?



Nowadays those who govern the countries of our planet make troubling choices which endangers LIFE and poisons it in small doses: weapons of all sorts, pollution, monopoly, intimidation, dictatorships, reckless competition, GMOs… “A good number of young people have become incapable of believing that others can interact with them in a friendly manner, with respect, generosity, and a spirit of cooperation or willingness to create newness together… We are under the impression that we have all lost confidence in the collective institutions.” For LIFE to be the victor, families will need to regain the art of being pedagogues—initiating the children to be attentively aware of the ‘other’ and teaching them to use the balm of tenderness. For this to happen, parents will need to be supported in more ways than one. Our society which stresses consumerism, trading, rivalry, competition is overlooking the aspect of solidarity. The law of the jungle is the motivation. However, when solidarity is put into practice, “each member feels comforted and secure in its existence.” Today’s families, no matter their background or ethnicity, are called to face with courage and determination the current challenges as well as the ones yet to come. LIFE will be the Victor when man will shape the world in keeping with human dignity.

Andre Gadbois