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Help me to especially see these blessings when life is hard, or when some burden weighs me down. May I be filled with a grateful heart and always rejoice in Your goodness.

Jesus, I trust in You. More Divine Mercy Reflections. Daily Gospel Reflections. Would you like our Daily Reflections emailed to you? My Catholic Life! Click the links below to visit our sign up page. You may unsubscribe at anytime:.

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Reflections of Gratitude

So in one sense, there is a dimension of gratitude that is expressed when we recognize that we are dependent on others. This is of course a central truth that is pertinent to our own humanity and personhood. As long as we believe we are in isolation, the self can only compare itself with others, which ends in delusion.

Reflections From The 21-Day Gratitude Challenge

Being grateful for other people is an act of gratitude that leads us back to our true selves. I'm reminded of the story about Jesus that describes the time he healed ten lepers by telling them to go and bathe in the river. Ten of them go and are healed, but only one of them returns and thanks him for being healed. Why did nine of the lepers not bother to return and thank Jesus for the miracle of their healing? When we compare ourselves with others, we come to believe that we deserve what others have.

Perhaps the nine who did not return believed that they deserved to be healed and therefore did not return to thank Jesus.

Thanksgiving, The Excuse

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourouzh believes this is the case, as he writes:. Isn't it true that gratitude springs up in our hearts more powerfully, more gloriously when what we receive is undeserved, when it is a miracle of divine and human love? When we think that we deserve something and receive it, we receive it as our due; so did the nine Jews. But the Samaritan knew he had no right to the mercy of God, no right to this miracle of healing, and his heart was filled with gratitude. Does this not apply to us? Indeed, it does!

Indeed it does so sadly, because all of us do feel that we have a right: a right to human concern, to human love, a right to everything which the earth and human relationships can give, ultimately, a right for God's care and love for us. And therefore, when we receive a gift we are superficially grateful, we say a perfunctory "thank you," but it does not transform our relationship, either to God or to those who have been merciful to us.

We receive it as our due, and we are grateful to those who were instrumental in conveying to us what "naturally" we had a right to have. To the extent that we believe that we deserve the things that we have, or even the things we do not have and that other people have which we covet, we cannot experience deep gratitude. And it is my experience that for this reason, we cannot experience joy, which is the happiness that stems from becoming our true selves, and should be distinguished from passing pleasures.

I have more often felt gratitude, even when enmeshed in the most difficult circumstances, for the experience of being alive. To be a living animal, breathing and experiencing consciousness, is deadened when we take it for granted. Such ingratitude is at the root of modern boredom, which is another way we avoid the reality of our truest selves.

We claim boredom because the self is buried beneath layers of desire. We want to stimulate ourselves as if merely being alive and experiencing our own existence needs a little extra umph to make it worthwhile. Of course, we suffer. And there is no reason to be grateful for evil. When we are in pain, we need not see it as a gift, even if it eventually transforms us.


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But we often fail to recognize that if the gift of life was not good and valuable, our suffering would not really be evil. It would be meaningless and par for the course. When we are hurt or hurting, there is a reason why it is tragic and why our experience of pain contains meaning. There is a reason why most people are outraged by the abuse of children. These acts violate a reality that we all know innately: existence is a good thing.

Life is a good gift.

Reflections from Living in Gratitude: What is Gratitude?

If there was no value in it, there would be no reason to react to suffering, either of others of our own. Recognizing this may also ignite gratitude, even when we are angry, in pain, suffering from sickness or loss, or feel dead or injured inside. The trick is to find a handle on this as a means of being grateful, even if gratitude arises out of an awareness of immediate experience which can be a powerful tool to cultivate rather than to allow evil circumstances to control us.

Becoming aware of our interdependency as well as of all the things for which we can be grateful is a beginning toward cultivating deep gratitude, which is a path towards experiencing the joy of becoming who we really are. Take a moment to reflect and share what you are grateful for in the comment section below. And please feel free to "Like" my Facebook Page as well. US Edition U. News U. HuffPost Personal Video Horoscopes. Newsletters Coupons.

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