The Gift of Presence

Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.  - Albert Camus

Giving great gifts can be a bit of an art form. I know some people who really excel at it, but I suspect even then it comes from practice. Some clearly find more joy from this art and practice, where many of us struggle to balance hopes and expectations of gifts with what's available, both in time to search and budget to purchase a great gift.

Having received some really terrific gifts, I often hope to emulate the experience for others. I'm confident I fall short of this more often than I rise to it. Occasionally I find something I know will be a great gift for someone. I treasure those moments, but find more often great gifts come from a more deliberate searching. The searching begins internally, as we seek out what may suit the other. Only then, can the searching for the actual gift begin.

I hope that through Advent we might not only be diligent in our search for presents, but also for presence. Time to be present to one another, friends and family is a gift in and of itself. Just as with the gifts we give, be deliberate to set aside distractions and be together. For all of our searching for gifts to wrap, I imagine our memories are filled with more moments shared, than gifts received. The gift of presence is worth celebrating.

Fr. Paul