From the Collections

A Maryknoll Christmas

Christmas at Maryknoll is a memory that [Maryknollers] carry in their hearts wherever they go to bring Christmas to other hearts. It is a vision of all that Christ means to the world… That vision will light his way along many paths, some not smooth and easy…

[T]he missioner’s lesson begins at a tiny crib that tells him…that God so loved the world as to give His only begotten Son.

[H]e knows by instinct that the Divine Babe in His smiling innocence is no soft sentiment, but a love that must revolutionize the world – and must revolutionize him.

Conceiving, then, some of that divine love in his own heart, the missioner learns how it expresses itself.

Love is not pride, Bethlehem says to him; love is humility.

Love is not power, love is weakness – though in it there is also a strength divine.

Love is not holding back; love is giving out.

The days will come when he will be beset with difficulties…and he will need to realize strongly that the candle he is lighting…is the light of the world.

We learn this lesson every year at Maryknoll, and every generation of missioners takes it with them to the mission field.

We are not separated; we meet around the crib…united by that bond which is greater than time and space – the love of a Divine Child.

God’s gift to us is Jesus.

Our gift to God is what?

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excerpted from “The Charms of a Maryknoll Christmas,” by Bishop James E. Walsh, The Field Afar, December 1937

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