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The Heart of Gratitude

The experience of gratitude ought to stop us in our tracks! We all know how easy it is to take our blessings for granted. Familiarity with any good thing can lead to apathy, or worse, to contempt wherein we feel that what is given is owed to us. To covet is to grasp that which can only be received as gift. Covetousness is the opposite of gratitude.

Gratitude is a movement of the heart and a prompting of love for the giver of the gift, more so than the gift itself. It is a response of thanksgiving to seeing that the gift given is the blessing of another’s generosity toward us.

Gratitude is a movement of the heart and a prompting of love for the giver of the gift, more so than the gift itself.

Gratitude doesn’t live in the realm of justice, but charity. We experience it when we know in our heart that the gift of another is not owed to us but is, rather, an expression of their good pleasure toward us.

When it comes right down to it, everything we have is a gift from God. While it is true that we must be good stewards of what we have, and thus we do have certain rights over what we possess, the most fundamental truth is that EVERYTHING we have is a gift from God. And we should see every good thing we have in this light, even our shoelaces.

When we perceive what we have as a blessing from above, and receive what we have in this manner, the heart will respond quite naturally with love for God.

The heart of the Christian experience is the Eucharist, which literally means thanksgiving. We are a grateful people, because we know that God has given everything, and everything He has given is an expression of his infinite love toward us. This is what we celebrate on Thanksgiving Day.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Michel
Dr. Michel Therrien, STL, STD is President of Preambula Group

Photo Credit: Nathan Dumlao

 

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