I have been reminded, yet again, recently on how important gratitude is in our lives. Recently someone also reminded me how important it is to remember.
Gratitude is about the past, the present, and the future.
To remember family members and others who enriched our childhood. I still remember my grandmother’s unconditional love so vividly. She died when I was 5-1/2 years old.
It is good to remember and to give thanks for the people who have touched our lives in positive ways, past and present.
Memories of experiences with nature that have touched our lives can also leave a lasting impression. I still remember the joy and pleasure of seeing a picture of a seal surrounded by deep blue water and some rocks that I saw years ago when I was in junior primary!
St. Ignatius of Loyola believed that gratitude was among the highest of virtues. In fact, he believed that ingratitude was the root of all sin.
Sin is basically a misuse of the gifts that God has given to us. If we are truly grateful for the gift, then we will not misuse it!
It is always good to be grateful for the blessings in our life.
However, it is particularly helpful to remember the blessings in our life when we feel down, having a ‘bad’ day or being unusually self-critical.
We do not ignore our present feelings, about feeling down, or critical. They might be telling us something that we need to follow, e.g. I might need to go and make peace with someone, apologise, etc.
However, we also need to find a sense of balance in our lives.
We need constantly to remind ourselves of the blessings that we have. This could range from the gift of faith, the people in our lives, the blessing of living where we do, the environment, nature around us, the warmth of the sun, the cool breeze and so many other things.
From time to time, hopefully every day, it is good to give thanks to our God for the blessings that we have had, that we have now, and for the anticipation of blessings in the future.
We celebrate the commitment of God’s unconditional love for us, and for all. A commitment that lasts for ever.
God Bless you today.
Bishop of Darwin