A priest friend of mine describes waking up each morning as "a mini-resurrection." We should jump up and hit the ground running, he says, rather than hit the snooze button repeatedly. (He's a morning person!) And then there's that familiar cliche that puts it like this: "Today is a gift; that's why they call it 'the present.'" But one of my favorite ways of looking at each day came from my best friend's youngest daughter who had not yet incorporated the words "yesterday," "today" and "tomorrow" into her vocabulary. Instead, she called them, "last day," "this day" and "next day."
How easy it is to take each new day for granted! And yet, the breath we are given each morning is the greatest gift of all. I'm as guilty as all of the other list makers who wake up thinking about all that needs done rather than thanking for all that has been done. As St. Paul wrote, "in Him we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17: 28) Really, what more could we ask?
Pier Giorgio's challenge in today's novena response is to consider how we spend each day and the gifts we have been given, especially our gift of good health. If we are not putting them at the service of others, he says, it "would be to betray that gift of God." I doubt he could ever be accused of such a betrayal. In fact, there is a wonderful book not yet published in English that is filled from cover to cover with works of charity that he performed. (The book is aptly named, "La Carita" -- his charity.)
As this novena began, many prayer intentions were submitted and are still being submitted. If you need something to help you count your blessings, take a few minutes to read through them. There are so many people in physical, spiritual, financial and emotional pain. There are so many situations in the world today in need of people willing to get involved. There are so many opportunities to stand up for life, for our Church, for our country.
If today were your "last day," how big would the book of your service to the Lord and His Kingdom be? None of us is guaranteed a "next day." "This day" is all we are promised. Make the most of it. Verso l'alto!