Gratitude

This past weekend, the readings invited us to consider the virtue of humility, contrasted against the vice of pride. We spoke about what the virtue of humility (living the truth of things as God sees them) looks like in relation to God, to others, and in relation to ourselves. Ultimately, humility ena-bles us to live a bigger life, because it gets us outside of ourselves!

But how can I grow in humility? One way is the intentional practice of gratitude. I know some peo-ple who seem to ooze gratitude out of every pore – just to walk by them is to hear them say how thankful they are for something! With others, it is a banner day just to get a ‘thank you’! But grati-tude is a virtue each of us is called to by Christ. So how can I grow in gratitude?

A friend recommended the practice of a ‘gratitude rosary’. Take a standard rosary, and for each bead, tell God thanks for something in your life. (It’s important to not just ‘feel grateful’, but to say thanks to God). For some, getting through the whole 50 Rosary beads will be easy… for others, a decade will be a challenge. My friends’ suggestion: week one, pray daily just a decade of ‘gratitude beads’. Week two, pray daily two decades, etc., until you can say ‘thank you’ to God every day for fifty things. Many who have tried have reported how it opens their eyes to so many blessings never noticed before, and have found how it boosts their daily joy.

Here’s the last tip: Eucharist is Greek for ‘thanksgiving’. The Mass is, at its heart, an offering of our-selves with Jesus (“through Him, with Him and in Him”) to the Father in gratitude for His love, grace and mercy. One of the best preparations for Mass is to gather all of our gratitude and prepare to give it to God in that climactic moment!