Gifts and Responsibility

The gift giving is over.  Did you get any good stuff?  You know, as kids, the day we returned to school and met the other kids we all recounted our list of “cool” gifts that were under the tree. This Christmas, 2012, what treasures did you receive?  Maybe you can recite a long list from adoring fans or maybe the list is a little shorter in view of these economic times.  If you give it some thought, though, what gifts have you been in possession of long before Christmas day arrived?

As adults it is sometimes hard for our kids to understand  when we say; “I don’t really want anything (gifts)”.  This may be hard to explain to little ones, but take stock and give an honest evaluation to what God has already gifted you.  As a Catholic writer, your primary treasure is, of course, your faith.   It is not something you are anointed with at confirmation that lasts the rest of your life.  It is a constant choice to accept and re-accept the gift. Every day reasons turn up for us to abandon faith in sight of the newest disaster or horror in the world.  Despite that, God hands us the gift of faith over and over again.  His offer never runs out or expires and he never fails to call to each of us no matter how many times we have rejected him. “And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly, that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us, you received not a human word but, as it truly is, the word of God which is now at work in you who believe”  (1 Thes 2:13).

As a creative person your ability to write is closely tied to your faith.  Every time you put pen to paper (computer screen) it is colored by your faith.  As part of your responsibility, readers should see a window into your faith anytime they read something you have created. “ Once we receive faith, however, it remains our task to nourish it and protect it from all that could harm it” (Father James M. Sullivan O.P. in Magnificat Year of Faith Companion , 2012) Along with gifts come responsibilities.   In this new year of 2013 consider the gifts you have been given.   What have you been doing to protect them?  This may be an easier task than you think it is.  Even if you are a daily communicant there is an action that you can take that is instructive, protective, uplifting and will nurture your faith.  Cast your eyes upon the gospel for the day.   Look upon it and read the word for the day with your own two eyes.  We too easily forget that Jesus himself told us : “The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely; it can slip through the place where the soul is divided from the spirit, or joints from the marrow; it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts” (Heb 4:12-13 Jer. Bible).

Setting your eyes on the text is not the same thing as hearing it.  When you take in information by sight it enters your soul in a different way than hearing, a more profound way. Once the word enters, it becomes planted, ready to grow.   In some of us that takes a while in others not so much.   Truth being, the word never leaves us.  It has eternal potential.  So nurture your gifts protect them by taking in the word.  You might even get a bonus you never knew existed.

About KathrynCunningham

Kathryn is a retired junior high teacher. A convert with a love for the Church she believes that its teachings have a viable application for today's world. She writes practical theological for the people in the pews believing that they have as much right to good catecheis as our youth and converts. Her writings appear on Catholic web sites and local Church publications. She has even been published in a diocese of Australia and most recemtly Zenit. Kathryn holds a Master's in Theology and is a certified spiritual director. Learn more about Kathryn at: www.atravelersview.org
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5 Responses to Gifts and Responsibility

  1. Kathryn~
    Your post here was an enormously “cool” gift. Thank you for sharing :)

  2. Nancy Ward says:

    You have done an excellent job of bringing gifts into focus for writers. When we appreciate both the specialness and the everydayness of our writing gifts, we can only praise God and thus continue to grow both in our faith and in our gifts.

  3. Don Mulcare says:

    Dear Kathryn,

    Thank you for your inspirational gift. Thank you for reminding me of God’s love manifest through the gift of faith. Your suggestion as to nurturing faith rings a bell. When I prepare the first reading at Mass, I’m reminded that the epistles were letters, written with considerable passion as well as inspirational instruction. To verbalize the first reading the lector must repeat it out loud until it flows, releasing the intent of the author. I find that involvement in the scriptures by speaking in the voice of Paul or John or Peter, reaches far more deeply and last far longer than a single, silent reading.

    In considering faith as a gift, a feature on NPR radio this morning spoke of the Death of Religion. A half dozen young (university age) agnostics explained why they “lost their faith.” A young lady still attended services to maintain her family’s tradition. She enjoyed the quiet time to relax and think. A young man found his faith’s scriptures to be illogical. A Christian youth had seen too much pain and failure in his family to believe any more. A Catholic youth just could not accept church teaching on active, same-sex relationships.

    Their faith has been tested. It’s rough out there. In showing our gratitude for our own faith we must remember and pray for these wounded souls. They will occupy this earth when I am gone. May God reach into their hearts and stoke their faith so that they and their children may courageously proclaim the Gospel.

    God Bless,

    Don

  4. Kassie, Nancy, Don: Thanks for the affirmation, the willingness to share that with others is a gift too. Blessed 2013, keep me in your prayers, as I will you!

  5. Don Mulcare says:

    Kathryn,

    With your experience with junior HS children, have you considered writing for them, especially since their faith comes under fire about that age and for many years to come?

    Thanks for your prayers and good cheer.

    God Bless,

    Don