Daily Reflection
From a Creighton Student's Perspective

November 28th , 2007

Julie Dunning

Senior, Spanish Major, Pre-Physical Therapy Track

Dn 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
Daniel 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67
Lk 21:12-19

Oh how I enjoy this time of the year so much! The first snow in Nebraska has fallen, seemingly putting everyone in the holiday spirit. I am blessed to be spending such wonderful times with my family and close friends. With the special holiday of Thanksgiving, here in the U.S., just “ending” today’s responsorial psalm particularly touches me. It tells us to “give glory and eternal praise to him”. That after all, is what the Thanksgiving holiday is all about. But why, in our society, do we traditionally only devote one day to being thankful? Shouldn’t this be a daily experience?

Within the last year, I have been striving to incorporate the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in my daily life. One of my favorite and yet most challenging aspects of the Exercises has been learning to be grateful and accepting of everything that comes my way. This does not just mean the positive things, such as a lovely Thanksgiving meal or friendships that are dear to me. It also means things that I would traditionally not embrace, such as a hard test that I must take or a quirk in my personality. The Exercises are continually teaching me to be grateful for everything around me, essentially making everyday a mini-Thanksgiving of sorts.

The gospel goes on to tell us “they will seize and persecute you…because of my name.” As a young child, I always thought this meant people making fun of me for my Christian values or things of that sort. Now that I am older, it has developed a new meaning to me. There are things that we all chose to do in our lives that may be out of the ordinary. Things that we feel will make us better people, and in turn hopefully help others. Such things may be major, for example deciding to lead a totally “green” lifestyle. Or they may be as small as saying more than just a typical “hey, how are you?” when seeing a familiar face. Either way, others may view these things as weird or not worth it. Others' reactions may tempt us to not go on with these efforts.

The holiday season is full of hope. I hope that during this blessed holiday season we may each take a little extra time to be grateful for all of the things in our life; whether we view them to be positive or negative. In addition, I challenge us all to do something that is out of our comfort zone in an effort to bring a little extra holiday cheer to ourselves and those around us.

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