Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gratitude


(Above - Venerable Father Solanus Casey - statue at birthplace, Oak Grove, WI)

Reading about the life of Venerable Father Solanus Casey got me thinking recently about this business of being constantly in a state of prayer and gratitude. That always has seemed to be a great way to live but definitely not something that has come naturally to me.

I wondered how I could feel grateful (instead of guilty) while doing my favorite things, like reading books and "working" on the computer.

To experience gratitude we have to receive the gift. Scenario 1: Imagine someone gives you a present -- say, that Mickey Mouse bobblehead doll you always wanted. Scenario 2: Now image you see a little kid with the same doll and you tell them to give it to you or you will whack them. In both cases you received the doll but gratitude is only involved in the case where it was freely given.

It was shown to me that if I claim my time to be my own, then I really am not receiving the gift. Really, I am just taking what I want. It is only when I fulfill the expectation on myself to respond immediately to the needs and wants of my children and husband FIRST, with leftover time being for myself, that I can enjoy the gift of the remaining free time from God.

2 comments:

  1. Have you ever read Brother Lawrence? There are online printings of his book, Practicing the Presence of God, for free but there are also more modern translations available at the library/bookstore. He was a monk in the 16th - 17th century that made it his life's work to constantly be in prayer and talking with the Lord. His writings are so inspiring that I try to read his book a few times a year.

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  2. I read Brother Lawrence once, a while ago. You have inspired me to dust it off and read it again. Thanks, Kris. :)

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