One cold, dark Christmas Eve, a little boy named Raul passed by on his way to the cathedral, carrying only a small candle. Back in the village, Raul’s widowed mother was dying. He hoped to place his candle on the altar and pray. As he neared the well, he heard a moan. Then he realized that he had forgotten to bring a coin. Terrified, Raul tripped on a root and fell by the well’s edge. There he heard a child’s voice, “Help! Give me your light.”
“This candle is for my mother,” Raul said, trembling. “I must take it to the altar of the big church so that she will get well.”
“Can you refuse me on the night of Christ’s birth?” the voice pleaded. The boy thought a moment. Then he threw the candle into the well and fell, weeping, on his knees in the darkness.
Suddenly, the light returned. Looking up, Raul saw a child stepping out of the well holding the little candle in his hand. “Go back home,” said the child. “Your mother will live.”
Raul ran home and found his mother waiting for him as though she had never been ill. Later that night, they went together to the shabby village church to give thanks. When they entered they were nearly blinded by the light, which streamed from the altar. Bathed in such splendor, the old church was every bit as beautiful as the neighboring cathedral.
“Why, Raul,” exclaimed his mother, “there is only one candle on the altar. How can one candle make such light?”
Raul was too awed to speak, for as he knelt before the altar, he saw that it was his very own candle. The light he had given away had been given back a thousand fold.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Cursillo,
Over the years I have seen many of you “give your light away” for the well-being of others.
You have done it by your willingness to serve the movement in an area or diocesan position; you have done it by carefully preparing candidates for the weekend and following through afterwards
You have given your light away every time you were asked to give a witness, either verbally at an Ultreya or by means of your actions in your everyday environments. I have seen your generosity even though your own burdens were at times many, just like Raul in the story; when everyone would have understood if you had kept that light for yourself.
Christmas is about giving ourselves away: our time, our talent, our treasure. It is about trusting God’s ways and daring to live them. And it is about being bathed in God’s splendid Light. Thank you for your witness. A blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones!
With much love,