Life is a Gift

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The WORD in other words (2022) By Fr Joseph Miras SVD (Canada)

Monday 29th Week in Ordinary Time

Life as a gift outside of human control is a truth we find hard to integrate into our lives. We will always have insecurities and anxieties about how we live. There are still moments that we worry, are stressed, and are unsettled until we find comfort no matter how fleeting it is, or how temporary it is.

Because we are mortal and physical creatures, we feel to have an affinity to material things. Our affinity leads us to an attraction towards them and even an attachment to them until we find it difficult and painful to part with or leave them. This is true with material things, animals, and persons. Who would not want to pick up a beautiful flower, pet a dog or a pat a horse, or shake somebody’s hand?

During this pandemic, “plantitos” and “plantitas,” “plant moms,” or “plant dads” emerged. There has been intense interest in exotic and rare plants, as well, that drove their prices to unimaginable heights. While others have taken a more reasonable course of action, others went to the extent of collecting and keeping them even if they are endangered species. Rare animals even escaped from their cages and confinement.

Life as a gift is appreciated when it is not taken as a “possession” or property. Life can be treasured even if one cannot take hold of it.

A simple appreciation of life in its beauty and facing its misery is all what’s needed. Easier said than done, of course. But an attitude of ecstasy helps in savoring the richness that creation and all that we are provide. The sense of mystery permeates all that surrounds us.

As Peter Berger wrote in his book A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural (1970), “Both in practice and in theoretical thought, human life gains the greatest part of its richness from the capacity for ecstasy, by which I do not mean the alleged experiences of the mystic, but any experience of stepping outside the taken-for-granted reality of everyday life, any openness to the mystery that surrounds us on all sides.”

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