Tag Archives: gifts

Blessed Grimoaldo

Blessed Grimoaldo Santamaria was born in Pontecorvo, Italy. May 4, 1883 and died in the Passionist monastery at Ceccano, Italy, on November 18, 1902. Today’s his feastday.

Like another young Passionist saint, St. Gabriel Possenti, it’s hard to discover anything spectacular about Grimoaldo. He died a Passionist student, preparing for ordination, immersed in the ordinary routine of study and prayer usual for that period of life.  He never reached that goal but died of meningitis. Dying from a sickness alone doesn’t make someone holy, does it?

The gospel reading from a few days ago may give us a clue to his holiness. It’s Luke’s account of the nobleman who goes on a journey and entrusts one of his servants with ten gold coins, another five, and finally another with one. Returning, he upbraids the servant who hides his one coin.

Why so severe with the one who chose to be safe? Is it a warning not to take small gifts for granted, not to keep out of life’s marketplace because we’re afraid we wont make a difference.

God sees small gifts as important, the ordinary tools of human love and service. If you wait for something “big” to happen, you miss out on most of living. So throw yourself bravely and generously into the life you have.

Did Grimoaldo understand that?

Visits and Gifts

Visits, gifts, greeting cards ( now by email) are a good part of the holiday experience.  How can we love everyone all at once? I don’t know.

But Luke’s gospel makes visiting a part of the Christmas mystery. Mary goes into the hill country to visit her cousin Elisabeth after she hears the angel’s message. They meet, not just to trade family news and pass the time together, but they share faith.

They’re two believers who reveal to each other the mystery hidden within them in their unborn children. And they rejoice in their common gift.

We gather with others at Christmas time; people of faith, believers in a mystery we do not see. At Christmas, believers meet, believers to a degree.

More than we know, we’re signs to each other, like the bread and wine, sometimes hardly evident. In his commentary today on the gospel of the visitation, St. Ambrose says we’re like Mary and Elizabeth; “Every soul that believes–that soul both conceives and gives birth to the Word of God and recognizes his works.”

So we visit and give our gift.