The Call to be Life-Givers

Happy New Year! Fresh beginnings, whether it’s a new birth in the family or a reclaimed zest for life, speak to us of joy. For some, joy is rarely experienced. For others, it seems to fill their hearts ceaselessly. What makes the difference?

I would venture to say that gratitude plays an important role. With an “attitude of gratitude,” we experience joy which colors our world in bright hues. Gratitude is the underpinning of joy. The light and warmth of gratitude in us radiates outward even as it fills our own spirit. We are aware that the Holy One who chose to be born of Mary lives in our hearts. This knowledge grounds us in gratitude which is the precursor of true joy.

Without gratitude, our universe appears dim and barren. We are unable to see the light of joy which is surely present. In the absence of gratitude, we can tend to lead sterile lives that beg for meaning. We view life as a contest in which we deserve all the prizes. While others see blessings, we see only what others owe us.

In a recent Advent homily, the priest called us to focus on two women of the Gospel, Mary and Elizabeth, as life-giving. One is a young virgin, the other an elder. Both, by the power of God, became life-givers. In them we see the joy and gratitude which overflow when we, too, whether young or old(er), give life to others.

In the new year, let us recommit to being life-givers. Only with the grace of God is this possible. Let joy and gratefulness flood our hearts and lead us, like Mary and Elizabeth, to bring life and light to our world.

Sister Virginia DeVinne