Nov. 18, 2022

“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”  (1 Thessalonians: 16-18)

‘Tis the season for Thanksgiving.  A holiday most everyone in America seems to celebrate, no matter their religious beliefs.  The time to think about what we are grateful for.  It sounds so cliché.  A gratitude journal?  Been there, done that. 

Probably a better way to cultivate gratitude is to make it a habit so that it becomes second nature.  This is, of course, easier said than done.  Perhaps we should have a gratitude buddy, like an exercise buddy, to keep us accountable all year long.

A good place to start, is by being thankful in the everyday mundane stuff of life.  Many years ago, when I was on bed rest, pregnant with triplets, I wasn’t allowed to do much of anything. I was thankfully(!) allowed to take a daily shower.  But that was it.   It got to the point where I was longing to do even the simplest task, like washing dishes.  That would have been sheer bliss! 

It was then that I vowed to always remember what a blessing it is to be able to do something as simple as washing dishes.  This challenge was put to the test soon after, when I found myself endlessly washing baby bottles because we had no dishwasher. I think a person could go to heaven just for that!  I am happy to report that I still frequently remember to be thankful when I wash those dirty dishes.  A trick that can also help is putting a picture of Jesus by the kitchen sink.    

St. Therese of Lisieux

I really enjoy the following video by Fr. Mark Goring, which is about praying while grocery shopping.  Maybe it will inspire you and be something to keep in mind while shopping for our Thanksgiving feasts.  It is a reminder that every occasion in life is an opportunity to practice gratitude and that our prayers can have far-reaching effects.

May we, then, humbly make this our prayer:

“O Jesus, eternal God, thank You for Your countless graces and blessings.  Let every beat of my heart be a new hymn of thanksgiving to You, O God.”

From the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul, entry 1794

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