Friday, November 7, 2014

Generosity and Gratitude: the Trap Between

St. Ignatius House
Lanham, Maryland

Dear Friends,
Happy weekend!
The title for this posting was prompted by the thought of a scientist.  He was intrigued by today's gospel reading about the steward who was about to lose his position.  His way to save himself and possible rejection by his boss was to relieve the burden of several of his boss' debtors.  They were given a reduced debt by the steward with the hope (expectation?) that these would become his fiori ends if indeed the master fired him.

At the end of each day, St. Ignatius recommends to retreatants and others seeking a stronger spiritual life that there be an examination of conscience and a prayer of gratitude.  

This brings to mind how difficult it is for some to receive a gift and simply to respond with "Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness."  As Christmas looms in a too near future, sometimes it becomes a season guilt:  feeling an indebtedness to others who gave gifts to us.  Underlying the felt need to respond with an in kind gift.  The scientist mentioned above questions such giving.  Is it truly given as a sign of friendship or mutual love?  Or, as he would say, is it just to make sure that we earn respect or recognition?

On this 1st Friday of November, consider the gift that all of us have received from the loving, caring, sacrificing heart of Jesus Christ.  Are we strong enough to accept forgiveness as a genuine gift that simply needs only an admission of human weakness and a prayer of gratitude?

Oremus pro invicem!

Fr. Milt