The gift is in the giving

Wednesday, December 7, 2011



As I reflect on what gives me joy,
I recall sitting on my Ma's lap
with her arms around me reading the book, Heidi.
I was too young to understand the contents of the book,
but young enough to know through my body
that there was a loving presence surrounding me.

I am inspired to ask "What gives me meaning?"
It is meaningful to be surrounded by a loving presence.
It is meaningful to be in harmonious relationship
with God, family, friends, co-workers and creation.

However, that is often not without pain, loss and suffering.
The paradox is that through the pain a resurrection often emerges.
What gives me meaning is the awareness that God's loving presence
is always with me with his arms wrapped around me and others.
I try to move through the day with this simple awareness.

I believe that the sharing of joy
is really about sharing meaning with people.
When I register a new member in the parish, I always ask:
"What brought you to this parish?"
The most common responses are:   
"I want a spiritual home, to belong to family, a community."

Every evening, I recall the meaningful moments of the day:
seeing the morning light and colors of a sunset,
feeling the power of song and symbol in ritual,
breaking open the Word,   
praying with a dying, crying man on his way to his eternal home,
planning a funeral with a family whose mother dies within a month
of their father's death,
feeling the pain - and the faith -- on the faces of people
at an All Souls Vespers who lost a loved other.

I'm not sure if this is what gives me joy
or if joy is the result of meaningful moments.
There is significance in the saying, "The gift is in the giving."

-- by Sister Annette Koss

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