“Thank You!”

gratitude-cicero

My mother and father raised me to always be thankful for the gifts that God has given me.  I remember them telling me that God knows everything that you need and to never forget to thank Him.  My mother and father also taught me “manners” and how to be gracious, kind and generous to people, that this was so very important.  And in teaching me manners, included was the need to thank others when they have done something for me in whatever capacity.  I remember listening to them intently, with my eyes gazing up at them, and truly, I tried to implement thankfulness in my life.

In September of 2006, during the Sacrament of Confession, a wonderful priest told me “To thank God in all things and situations, to praise God in all things and situations, to remember to live in the mystery of His Cross and to live in the present.”  He told me that no matter what happens, even if it is evil, that a greater good would come from it and to submit all circumstances to God, asking for his help and direction, to be the best person I could be, to be an excellent soldier for Christ and to ask to do His Will.  Every day I have remembered this counsel, at its heart being thanksgiving and praise to God, willing to submit to Him in all the circumstances of life, to actually “be” the person He has made.

Indeed and in fact, the term, “Eucharist”, the central act of Christian worship, the Mass, is a Greek word which means, “thanksgiving,” because through its institution by Jesus, He “gave thanks” to His Father  (Mt. 26: 26-28):

While they were eating , Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is My body.”  Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is My blood of the new covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.”

The Mass is the supreme act of Christian thanksgiving, the celebration of the Eucharist, from Jesus instituting this Sacrament in or about 33 A.D., to the present time, December 22, 2012 and on forward.  It is noteworthy here that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity in avid constancy, gave thanks to the Father and asked that this supreme Thanksgiving, be done in remembrance of Him.

I love listening to the Gospel that involved Jesus healing the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19:

As he continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.  As he was entering a village, ten lepers met Him.  They stood at a distance from Him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master!  Have pity on us!”  And when He saw them, He said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”  As they were going they were cleansed.  And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jeus and thanked him.  He was a Samaritan.  Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not?  Where are the other nine?  Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?  Then He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” 

Clearly, Jesus takes notice of the leper who thanked Him, but He also takes notice of the nine lepers who did not thank Him.

Being thankful to God from the heart, soul, mind, intellect and will is a wonderful necessity that frees us from ourselves, our egos, wherein we learn how to be “little” and how to recognize Jesus in disguise, how to help our neighbors, the people that we are involved with in our own Calcuttas.  Thankfulness is liberating and essential for happiness, and above all, it is essential for holiness, it is essential to becoming a Saint and it is essential in loving our neighbors.  We should want to be Saints, friends of God living in Heaven with Him, seeing the Triune God, face to face.  This should be our ultimate goal over any other goal.

dear God

In spite of how wonderful it is to be thankful, there are actually people in this world who avoid being thankful and who spurn being thankful as something that is beneath them.  Since I have been involved in Fellowship of the Minds (FOTM) as a writer, I have made it a point to thank the writers, especially Dr. Eowyn, the owner and administrator of this blog, for the specific communications I have read, which incudes the effort, research and thought that goes into the various posts.  In this capacity on FOTM, I have learned that many people are not thankful and actually make it a point to condemn thankfulness.  One commenter called me “comical” because I “thank” so much, also calling me a “butt kisser.”  I laughed, because if you know me, you know that this would never be a description of me.  It really is funny.  But I thought about why would someone make such comments about being thankful?  I came to the conclusion that once again, the sin of narcissism and pride is the cause of such a stupid disdain for being “thankful”, and that people who do not appreciate or thank have chosen darkness and their own glory as their light, instead of the Light of Christ and the light of goodness that we experience in being thankful to each other.  Such people need our prayers as they must be very unhappy and do not know themselves.  For if you know yourself, you would then realize why it is necessary to be thankful.

So, as I say almost every day to my dear Sister of choice, Dr. Eowyn, the leader of this Fellowship, “Thank you, Dr. Eowyn, for everything you do for us, for everything that you do for your neighbors that you do know and for your neighbors that you do not know.  Thank you for your research and the accompanying brilliance and scholarly enlightenment that helps us to understand what is true and what is not true.”  And, to all of my fellow writers, I extend my utmost thanks for everything that you do as well to be Soldiers for the Triune God, to point out evil and to point out good, all servants of the Truth, which is Jesus, a Person.  And most of all, I thank you, most Supreme and Loving Triune God!  Thank You!

~Joan

23 responses to ““Thank You!”

  1. Thank you, Joan, for this beautiful post! (Good grief. I just thanked you. I must be a butt-kisser! LOL)

    Yes, indeed, I have heard from two (erstwhile) FOTM writers asking me, while trying to be as polite as possible, why you always thank me for my posts. One said he found your thank you’s to be “boring” and “comical”; another, even after I’d explained that you are trying to show your appreciation, actually asked if I was “embarrassed” by your thank you’s. Since I also make it a point to thank you and the other writers, they must think me “comical” and “embarrassing” as well. [Snark]

    But the fact is we have scientific studies showing how important gratitude is for our own mental health and wellbeing. There is now a “gratitude movement” to systematically explore and study gratitude: Books are written about gratitude; the John Templeton Foundation is funding a project called Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude.

    I know from personal experience how important being grateful is for my own wellbeing. When I retired early from being a professor in order to be with my husband (in failing health), I was utterly miserable for a year because the adjustment from being a professor to a “nobody” was so difficult. What got me out of my depression was heeding your counsel — every day to think of and write down just ONE thing for which I am grateful.

    So I found ONE thing for which I was grateful each day — from the important (I’m alive; I’m healthy) to the seemingly trivial (a rose bloomed in the garden). It worked! :D

    Another way to look at gratitude is to look at its opposite: Ingratitude. What is one of the greatest ills of America today? – Entitlement, feeling entitled to the fruits of other people’s hard work. Entitlement, of course, is just another word for ingratitude.

    I also make it a point to thank God every day: God the Father, for the totally gratuitous gift of life; Jesus Christ, for suffering and dying for my sins; and the Holy Spirit for His guidance, instruction, and inspiration.

    OMG! I’m thanking God! That must mean I’m a butt kisser! LOL

    • Eowyn and Joan–whenever I become what I think of as a little bit too much into myself,I like to make a gratitude list. On a legal pad I write the alphabet vertically, and then proceed to find something starting with each letter to be thankful for. It brings me down from my perch and quickly humbles me.

  2. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for your wisdom, the research on being thankful, having gratitude and for your kind thoughts; I am so honored. And to make matters worse because I am thankful, I am going to thank the commenter who called me a butt kisser! She has given us good laughs and I thank her for that! Really, the commenter who said this is kissing her own butt, albeit though physically most difficult!

  3. Beautifully said, ladies! Guess this puts me in the butt-kisser category, too. LOL

  4. I thank both Joan and Dr. Eowyn. for their faith, their research and their clear sense of good. When one knows goodness and truth one can recognize the evil and the lies more easily. May the spirit of Christmas abide in your hearts and bring you peace.

  5. Well put, joandarc, Have a Merry Christmas!!!

  6. If I may interject a request tonight to pray for a friend of mine. Her precious one year old has croup. This is usually a minor diagnosis but this wonderful little girl has Down Syndrome and does have the typical heart defect associated with Downs. She was treated at two hospitals today and is now at home but needs prayer. THANK YOU!

  7. Thank you! I haven’t heard anything yet today. I really appreciate your support.

  8. Thank-you all of my dear friends here @ FOTM. I feel like we are a close-knit group, and my day would not start without a visit here. Merry Christmas and God Bless you all.

  9. Joan d’Arc, I am most humbly grateful for this post and for the comments, too. Sometimes we just get too busy with “life” and forget the essentials for true happiness and fulfillment. A little nudge can go a long way… ;)

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