Being grateful is more of a gift than a duty. Something in us changes when we are grateful. We glimpse our daily reality in a different way, like scuba diving below the surface of the ocean and discovering a world of beauty that exists just out of sight. When we are grateful, we see below the surface of our busy lives and discover treasures that were hidden just out of sight. Here are five of them.
- Something in us changes when we are grateful. A sense of gratitude gives us a peace and contentment that shifts our perspective on our lives.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7
- Being grateful implies a very important truth: I am not alone. To be grateful implies I am grateful to someone else, someone who has impacted me with goodness. I am connected to God and to others and I know it deep inside, no matter how alone I may feel in my daily circumstances.
“To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us — and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.” – Thomas Merton
- I am grateful for what I am given, not for something I have accomplished. Gratitude shows me that I need the help of God and of others.
“If only everyone weak and imperfect like me felt as I do, no one would despair of reaching the heights of love, for Jesus does not ask for glorious deeds. He asks only for self-surrender and for gratitude.” – St. Therese of Lisieux
- Being grateful means I am free. I am free to be grateful and to see the good around me regardless of any other circumstances in my life.
“Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint.” – Henri Nouwen
- Being grateful builds hope in us.
“Remember the past with gratitude. Live the present with enthusiasm. Look forward to the future with confidence.” – Pope St. John Paul II