More than 120 years ago at Christmas, in a monastery in northern France, a young Catholic Sister named Therese invited her other Sisters each to give back a treasured gift to God: a song, her smile, or her heart. Therese wrote these invitations on colored pieces of paper and presented them in a candlelit ritual.
As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, we are thankful for the gifts of our talents that God has given us. But do we remember to give them back to God? To use them for his purposes? Or perhaps we have trouble noticing what our gifts are? Our family members and friends might be able to tell us.
Inspired by St. Therese's beautiful Christmas ritual, here is an idea for family members to celebrate their gratitude for each other's gifts and reflect on the invitation to discern ways to put them in practice for God's purposes.
Each family member will receive a tiny leaf bouquet or cluster of bells that evoke her wonderful qualities. As she goes forward after the holiday, she might pray about the new ways those qualities might help those around her.
I'm Sherry Weaver Smith, author of The Wolf and the Shield: An Adventure with Saint Patrick. I like to have adventures in getting outside in nature, crafting, and cooking as I explore our Catholic faith with my daughter. We want to be inspired by the saints!