Posted by: wordofthevine | February 3, 2017

The Habit of Gratitude

We are only a few weeks from Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. It is important to pay attention and ask God for the gratitudeinsight and the graces that will draw you to greater union with Him and greater charity towards others.

This Lent, I feel drawn to cultivate a greater sense of gratitude in my life. Sometimes, I let it slip through my fingers. My hope that this sense of gratitude can be more than just a fleeting occasional sentiment in my heart that I notice when things are going good, but become a habit of being grateful.  I am feeding this hope by reading the book, Radical Gratitude  by Mary Jo Leddy.  A priest friend gave me the book several years ago and I came upon it anew just a few weeks ago when I unpacked my library in moving.

While I am just in the beginning of the book and I have not learned how to practically grow in this virtue, her words are drawing me to deeply desire this heartfelt openness to God and to life. She says that in order to fulfill our God given missions in life, we have to learn to sustain gratitude as an all-encompassing attitude to life. We are to desire to live a different way than our consumerist culture trains us to. We are to notice what we have in great detail and stop seeking what we seem to lack.

We are meant for God, to be free of the dis-ease of focusing on the next pursuit. We are to “live with a sense of meaning and direction with some measure of happiness. In the experience of radical gratitude, we know the origin and purpose of our lives.”[i]

Contemplate with me some lines from Mary Jo’s poem from the first chapter of the book. She writes: “create us anew O God. Create us not novel but new. From the remainders of our dreams, create a new hope, O God. From the ashes of our failures, create a new spirit O God. From the castoffs of our words, create a new song O God.”[ii]

Where is God beckoning you this Lent? Where do you seek Him and where can He make you new and more whole and holy this day? ~ Mary

[i] Leddy, Mary Jo, Radical Gratitude, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, NY, 2006, p 8

[ii] P 12


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