In a world where God's grace overflows at every turn, it strikes me as odd that we need to be reminded by our Ignatian spirituality to seek God in all things.
We are surrounded by our family and friends, our opportunities and freedoms, and our many earthly blessings. At De Smet Jesuit in particular, we have an especially graced institution where we witness mission moments in the lives of our young men each and every day. We have ample opportunity to see God in our lives and express gratitude for such demonstrations of His love.
Not surprisingly, however, reciprocating gratitude does not flow as readily or abundantly as God's grace.
As a parent, a former board member, a current staff member, and an alumnus, I have been on the receiving end of a multitude of gifts and graces this community offers. De Smet Jesuit has been foundational for me and my family. I cannot begin to measure the impact the school has had on me, my brothers, my sons, our wider family, and my many friends and associates.
And yet my gratitude simply does not keep pace with God's grace.
Not even close.
So it is a help for me that we have a national holiday such as Thanksgiving that reminds me to slow down and to be mindful and "heart-full" of God's blessings. And it is a help for me that we have a growing tradition such as Giving Tuesday that reminds me to look outside myself and my inner circle and look toward the larger community to see what I can give.
In our daily examen that occurs every afternoon over the school intercom, we are called to gratitude. This method of prayer, given to us by Ignatius, is integral to our life at De Smet Jesuit. For me and countless others, giving back to De Smet Jesuit is not only a small way of saying "thank you" to this great apostolic work, it extends the gift to others.
Grace begets gratitude begets grace. It is that simple and that profound. In expressing our gratitude for De Smet Jesuit, we perpetuate the grace God provides.
To learn more about Spartan generosity and all the ways people give their time, talent, or treasure to De Smet Jesuit, please visit our Giving Events and Campaigns webpage or contact either John Stewart, Director of Major Gifts, or Jeff Cernicek, Director of Development.