The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Monday, July 6, 2015

Why be thankful?

In recent days, the first chapter of St. Paul's letter to the believers in Rome has become a common touch point for the debate on same-sex marriage. I am intrigued by these words from this chapter:

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21).

It is my contention that living a life of gratitude is the key to living a rich life. Why is this? When we live a life of gratitude we are acknowledging that we are not the center of our world. We cannot be self-centered and grateful at the same time. When we say  “Thank you” to the clerk at the store we have just acknowledged that our lives are lived in community. Selfishness and gratefulness do not exist in the same life.

Beyond living in the human community, we live in a larger spiritual reality. Our current spiritual culture is heavily focused on immanence, the truth that God is close. Gratitude brings us to understand that we cannot survive without transcendence, the belief that there is a One who greater than what we can control or manage. Gratitude lends our thinking to a wildness of bounty that is undeserved. We are graced with goodness beyond our expectation.

Gratitude is one step toward the Divine; ingratitude is the first step away from the Divine.

What are you grateful for today?

Ronald Friesen © 2015

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