A few days ago, Debbie, my assistant, and I were puzzled with the arrival of a package to my office that listed no sender. Within it was an Advent wreath that had electrically powered candles- something that I had never seen before. After some thought, Debbie suggested that perhaps someone in the Catholic Center ordered it and it was sent to my office by mistake. The explanation seemed logical so I moved on to my other work.
Later that evening, I began preparations for the recording of my next podcast. Suddenly I understood the mystery of the wreath. For in my last podcast, I made mention of an incident a few years ago when I accidentally left the candles of my Advent wreath lit and only be sheer grace, having forgotten my keys, returned to my room to discover the danger. Since then, I keep my Advent wreath unlit- until the arrival of the electric wreath that was sitting in my office! A kind and generous person who listened to my podcast sent me the electric wreath, so that I could once again pray with the light of its candles in safety!
I cannot describe how moved I was when I realized this beautiful act of generosity and kindness given to me. In the face of all the challenges that have become a daily part of leadership, to know that there are persons who care enough to reach out in simple and anonymous ways, to provide support and encouragement, was one of the greatest spiritual gifts I have received in a long time. It powerfully reminded me that simple acts of kindness can revive the spirit and rekindle hope.
To whomever sent me the Advent wreath, I am praying for you, your family and your intentions each day that I light . Thank you for your kindness, generosity and support.
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos.