We had another morning reflection this week given by a great priest on his day off. Thanks to his good friend the Holy Spirit, it was timely and repeated a theme that I had already been thinking and reading about!
The reflection was based on the story of the 10 lepers, which I'm sure you know. Jesus healed the 10 and sent them to show themselves to the priest, but one came back to express his gratitude---the Samaritan, the one least expected to do so. Jesus questioned where the other 9 were.
Jesus was offended that only one came back. He was offended because He loves us so much, and it hurts when the gifts He gives us are ignored. Don't you feel the same way when you work hard for your family and it goes unnoticed and unappreciated? I know I do.
A lack of gratitude is a sin against Charity.
Some obstacles to gratitude:
- We are too busy to notice or acknowledge those moments when we've been given a gift or protected from something bad happening. How many times have you passed a pedestrian on the edge of the road and realized that if you had been reaching for your phone or your coffee you might have hit them?
- We have a sense of entitlement. We receive gifts day in and day out, and we begin to expect those routine gifts.
- We have "pending issues" with God---perhaps we feel that there was a time in our lives when he abandoned us.
- When times are good, we are not thankful. Refer back to that sense of entitlement---we get used to things being good and we think they should always be this way!
How to form gratitude:
- Be grateful to others. Take time to notice and say thank you.
- Spend 15 minutes once a week thinking of things that people have done for you.
- Write thank you notes---with a pen! on real paper!
- Spend your time while in line for communion thinking of things that God has given you. You are about to receive a little piece of Heaven; it's like being in line to enter the Pearly Gates, so be grateful!
Some fruits of gratitude:
- It makes us more humble, and that sense of entitlement goes away.
- It takes off some of the pressure because we are not so independent, which makes us feel as if we are alone in the world with no one to lean on.
- Relieves stress
Work on cultivating gratitude in yourself and your children. Your spouse can help by reminding the children of all you do for them---just as you should be reminding the children of the hard work of your spouse!!
Thank YOU for stopping by to read! And thanks to everyone who comments also! Have a great weekend.
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