The hum-drum of daily life can sometimes become more and more, shall we say, monotonous? Most of us have the same daily tasks and for the most part we do them in just about the same way each day, don’t we? The seasons of the church year help us rise above the seemingly mundane lives we lead, or it might be better to say, help us integrate our daily tasks into a life of union with God.  By keeping the end in mind – I mean the eternal goal here – a new, fresh, spiritual quality enters into these daily tasks.
 
That is what Advent is.  That is what Advent does.  For Christ comes anew, each year.  And because of that coming, we are once again lifted up and transformed. A new freshness invigorates our day. A new happiness accompanies us.  
 
There are moments when the veil between this world and the next becomes so thin you can almost peer through. For me, the expression of sincere gratitude is one of those moments. I’ve been blessed with many gifts and I mean blessed: everything I have received is a sharing in the goodness of God. Sometimes these gifts come directly from Him, but more often He uses people as His instruments: the hard working father who dashes over to swipe his credit card before we can pay for our groceries, the busy grandma who takes time to bake a pumpkin pie for the sisters, the family that stops by the convent because they have out of town visitors and they want them to meet “the beautiful sisters.”
 

At such times, my heart expands and I get a glimpse of what it will be like in Eternity when the goodness of God permeates everything. Gratitude is acknowledging that expansion and when we express that gratitude we invite others to join us in our heavenly preview.