The Perfect Gift

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Dear Friends of IVC,

Are you in the midst of hunting for a perfect gift for someone?  At this time of year, when we can’t go online, watch TV, listen to the radio, or enter a store without being bombarded by advertising around the “perfect gifts,” I ask myself, just what makes a gift perfect?

May I suggest it’s not the item itself but the attentiveness of the giver to the real and unique needs and desires of the person receiving the gift?  Giving the perfect gift has nothing to do with cost or rarity; it has to do with the love that is reflected in the thought behind the gift. It has to do with the very unique, perhaps even unknown, desires and needs of the person we seek to give the gift to.

That’s what God did that invented Christmas. A Love for us so deep looked at what we truly needed and decided to send itself in the form of a child who became a man who would bring us—by the very gift and sacrifice of himself—sacred and healing lessons, light for hope and the gift of continuing that love through the Holy Spirit. That gift continues to live today as Christ lives among us and if we act, through us still.

IVC, through the work of our volunteers, mirrors such a perfect gift in the lives of the people they serve.  The women and men of IVC give the most precious gift of all—the gift of themselves and the skills they have honed over the many years of their education, professions and life experiences.  Their service, and the many who support them through spiritual reflection, donations and staff support, is truly a gift of light in the darkness of our world where there is poverty and suffering, loneliness and despair.

As a gift to you, I share these quotes from Ignatian Volunteers in Los Angeles, which highlight this link between generosity and gratitude. You will see this theme repeat in our story about Ignatian Volunteer Kevin Tansey who shares about his 9 years of service and identifies this cycle of generosity.

I have been blessed with a beautiful family, a full life with good health.   It is my time to give back a little of all that God has given me. I hope this begins to show how grateful I am for all my blessings from the Lord.

IVC is an opportunity to give back for all the blessings given me and to give back where most needed – to the poor.  An opportunity for my life to have real meaning.  Belonging to IVC gives me great joy and the strength of a community of like souls as I strive to have a deeper relationship with God.

May we be inspired by this IVC spirit of gratitude and generosity as we enjoy this Advent and Christmas season of gifts.

Thank you for all that you do as part of this beautiful community. You are a perfect gift to us, our mission, and those we serve!

Mary