From Br. Joseph —
This is the last reflection of a series on seven signposts. The first reflection began Lent, and now this one bridges us into the Easter season and beyond.
Signposts give us direction. They point to some place. They involve action, movement. Many signposts call us to remember something important, some thing that is already there but is often covered up by the minutia of daily life. Signposts represent a choice—to follow or not to follow. It takes grace to see a signpost and courage to follow where it points.
All is gift.
This signpost points to the attitude of gratitude.
Many people say “everything is gift,” but the word all seems bolder, more encompassing. All excludes nothing. Every thing, every person, every situation, every moment of time, every breath, every molecule, and every ounce of energy in your very existence, every opportunity to choose to love and to give—all is gift.
This means that the present moment—the now, and every thing about it, be it joy or suffering or more likely a combination of both—is gift, a present. It is an opportunity to be present to what is, and to be open to God. And the choice (another gift) is yours to receive or resist. Not in the past or in the future, but only now in the present moment can you have presence, awareness, being. Memories and wishes are good, but they are not reality; they are not what is. Receiving is being; resistance is pride.
The first Beatitude, blessed are the poor in spirit, is a be-like-this-attitude that all is gift, an awareness of our poverty. For if all is gift, then nothing is mine. All belongs to God. And in opposition to everything the world says, those who can accept the humility of this poverty, or accept grace to move toward it, are truly blessed, and “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Thus the words from Scripture, “In Him we live and move and have our being” are not only poetic, but are actual physical reality. All is indeed gift.
If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. (Meister Eckhart, 14th century German mystic)
All is gift. If we receive, then gratitude, and perhaps awe, is our response.
Our Lady of Mercy is praying for us…