Daily Grind

Daily Grind

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Wonder of Thanks

Yesterday was Administrative Professionals Day, “a day originally created in 1952 by the International Association of Administrative Professionals.  It’s a day set aside for honoring those wonderful, dedicated people who do so much to keep businesses running at peak efficiency.”  So said the back of a card I found on my desk yesterday.  Yes, I serve in the role of an administrative professional for the Leadership Council of our Congregation.  

The verse in the card and the individual messages of each of the sisters I support evoked so many smiles in me.  I felt total joy, and my day was certainly made bright.  So I began to reflect on what a wonder it is to express gratitude and what a difference it can make.   I don’t know about you, but I often say “Thank You” without even thinking about it.   What if each time I expressed my thanks to someone, I also looked that person in the eye and let him/her know that I really am grateful for his/her service to me.  How many smiles would I prompt for someone in the midst of a stressful day or situation! 

Despite the challenges and emergencies that arose during that day (life happens), my spirits continued to be uplifted.  Yes, indeed gratitude is a wonder!

What has been your experience of giving or receiving thanks?

Anne Sur, OP
East Dubuque, IL

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Joy

These are uncertain and troubling times in our nation and world – even a cursory glance at the headlines reveal that.  Speaking of joy might seem na├»ve.  Yet joy is not a happy-go-lucky, carefree attitude or a Pollyanna-ish perky positivity ungrounded in reality. 

Ultimately, joy is not something that we can manufacture from within ourselves.  Joy comes from the Holy Spirit, as we are reminded in Galatians 5:22.  In Jesus’ last discourse, he speaks tenderly to his disciples: “these things I have spoken to you, so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be full” (Jn 15:11).  Immediately before Jesus suffered and died, he gathered those he loved and spoke of the fullness of joy!  Clearly, the joy Jesus spoke of can coexist with pain and suffering.

“Be joyful though you have considered all the facts,” wrote Wendell Berry in his poem “Manifesto: the Mad Farmer Liberation Front.”  As Christians committed to the common good, with a particular concern for those who are most vulnerable, we must “consider all the facts,” which are often deeply discouraging.  At this same time, we cultivate an openness to evangelical joy within ourselves and our communities.

Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin stated that “joy is an infallible sign of the presence of God.”  Where in your life do you experience joy and become aware of God’s presence?

Rhonda Miska
Sinsinawa, WI

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