I suppose lots of folks are running ’round trying hard to buy, and so give, that extra special gift about now. Christmas giving. It’s a good thing, kept in its proper perspective. I always remember the following story about this time of year. It tells me everything I need to know about giving … There was a monk. I like to think he was Benedictine, but I think in the original tale he was Franciscan. That’s ok, Franciscans still pay us rent. 😉 (If you don’t get that its ok. It’s not part of the story.) Anyway, back to our little monk. He was a good monk in that he loved God and desired to serve God. I would think that would make him a very good monk. But in the day-to-day operation of the monastery he was, well, less than functional. He was a lousy singer and so a total loss in choir. He couldn’t cook so the kitchen was off-limits. If put to work in the garden he had a brown thumb, everything he touched died. So he usually ended up with a broom in his hand and tucked away in a corner that didn’t matter much. Such a clutz. But he did love God, he did desire to serve. To give. To give back to God. There was however one thing that he could do and do well. He could juggle. Of all the worthless talents to have in a monastery. A juggler. Christmas was coming in the monastery and all the monks were doing their very best and with all their hearts to give back to God. The singers sang their very best, just as if God Himself was sitting right there listening. The cooks and kitchen helpers cooked like they were serving food at the Heavenly banquet to God Himself. Those working in the garden were trimming and digging and cleaning the monastery grounds just as though God would walk through the garden as He did in Eden. And our little clutz? Sweeping away in a corner that didn’t really matter. But he wanted to give back too. Out of love for God just like all the rest. Christmas eve, after the various prayers and services of the monastery had ended, our little monk leaves his cell. Slowly he makes his way to the chapel. He kneels before the Tabernacle and then walks over to the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the Holy Child Jesus. And he gives, from his heart and with all the love he has, what he has. He begins to juggle. Tha Abbot is making his rounds. He hears a slight rustle (our monks robe as he juggles) coming from the chapel. He peaks in. He sees Brother juggling. And he sees the statue seemingly come to life. And the Lady smiles, and her Baby claps with joy. The best gifts don’t cost money or take impressive talents. They come from a heart filled with love. I think its important to remember this as we juggle our lists and credit cards and … Have a Mary Christ-mass. 🙂

Published in: on December 19, 2010 at 8:03 am  Comments Off on Giving