“Thank you.” We say those words many times a day. But those two words also form one of the simplest prayers there is. There is SO much to be thankful for in our lives, and sometimes it’s easy to forget to say “Thank you” to God.
I found myself referring to last Sunday’s contemporary reading several times during the week and even sending it to a couple of friends. So rather than save it for this column for Thanksgiving week, I’ll pass it on now…
“I learn by going where I have to go,” Theodore Roethke wrote. And that’s an important concept. All of life cannot be planned. Our life is God’s and gratitude is its key.
Giving thanks to God is good psychologically to keep our thoughts light and full of energy. It is not true, psychologists tell us, that we think the way we feel. On the contrary, we feel the way we think and thoughts can be changed.
Giving thanks to God is good spiritually. That is the beginning of contemplation.
Giving thanks to God is good socially. It makes us a positive presence in a group. (Only negative people want to be around negative people.)
We need to stop and thank God– consciously– for the good things of the day. We spend so much time wanting things to be better that we fail to see our real gifts. There are banquets in our life and we don’t enjoy them because we are always grasping for something more: the perfect schedule, the perfect work, the perfect friend, the perfect community. We have to realize that God’s gifts are all around us, that joy is an attitude of mind, an awareness that my life is basically good.
(From Joan Chittister, Songs of the Heart, “Thanking God,” p. 128.)
Yours in faith,