“Gratitude is the thing that brings us the most grace…I have learnt from this experience; try it, and you will see. I am content with whatever God gives me, and I show him this in a thousand little ways.” St. Therese of Lisieux
Do you desire a love with God that is beyond anything you could ever imagine? If so, I want to invite you to focus a little on gratitude.
Have you extended gratitude to God for all things – the small stuff, the big ones, the joy, and the suffering?
I’m sure each of us find it easy to give God gratitude for the joyful moments in our lives. But what about those moments that are tough, that hurt within us, wash our faces in tears? These moments are a bit more challenging to offer gratitude to God. I’m sure 90 % of the time we question God in these circumstances. I’m definitely guilty as charged.
St Therese tells us that gratitude brings us the most grace. St Ignatius of Loyola also tells us in his prayer of gratitude that when we are filled with gratitude for all things, we will love and serve God in all things. My dear sisters and brothers, that also means our pain, our suffering, the things we don’t like or appreciate, and the moments we aren’t feeling appreciated.
Think about that for a moment. Imagine how you felt when someone did something nice for you and you extended thanks to them, appreciation for what they did. I’m sure it brought joy and love into your heart as well as theirs. Do you think the love and joy was filled because of their act of kindness, your act of gratitude or both?
If God is the creator of all things and is present in all things, do you think He is present within the moments that hurt, anger, and disappoint? If God allows you to suffer, do you think He loves you less? Do you think He is more present in those moments – those when you need His strength the most? I’m pretty certain He was present on the cross, the greatest moment in history that endured the most suffering. By our Christian faith, we do offer Him thanksgiving for this, the moment He laid everything down to save us.
Why wouldn’t we offer gratitude for even those not so fun times when we are at our worst? If we offered gratitude during the rough circumstances in our lives, would we feel more loved instead of disappointed, lost and unloved.
I want to circle back to my first question at the start of the blog…. Do you desire a love with God that is beyond anything you could ever imagine? If you answered yes, then why would you not try offering gratitude in all things, even the worst moments, just as St Therese and St Ignatius suggest? What do you have to lose? Face with the person who angered you? What about a love so great that satisfies every ounce of your being beyond anything you could fathom – THE LOVE EXCHANGED BETWEEN YOU, YOUR CREATOR, YOUR REDEEMER, AND YOUR SANCTIFIER? Give it a try, you may be surprised at the graces you receive.
Beautifully said! I think daring to give thanks in the difficult moments disarms them of their power to hurt us, and gives us a greater perspective on who and what is really at the core of the event. Gratitude always puts us back in touch with the Giver – and there is power there! Thanks for a beautiful reminder!
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Thank you for your kind comment. Gratitude can definitely be hard at times but in those difficult moments it can make it easier… “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30