The Desk columnist in the Catholic Times recalls a weekend retreat she made a few years ago. At the end of the retreat master's talk, he gave them the task of finding 100 reasons to be thankful, and to write them down during the retreat.
Her first thoughts--no big deal, and took her notebook and began writing, but soon
realized this was not going to be easy.The first 10 came quickly,
the next a little harder but then the going was difficult. Many
others, she kept repeating to herself, but they were not coming to
mind. After the retreat remembering reasons for gratitude became an important part of her meditations.
came across a book written by a psychiatrist who says there is
scientific evidence that our feelings of gratitude influence the body
for the good. Our thoughts, feelings and actions are all influencing the
operation of the brain. Daniel G Amen an American psychiatrist is
quoted, and uses his studies in her article.
Thanksgiving and praise she says have a relationship with how the brain
functions. Words of praise trigger the feelings of gratitude and there
is a noticeable greater flow of blood in the brain.
as Christians do not need this study, she says, to know the importance
of gratitude. In the passage of St. Paul in First Thessalonians 5:6--"Be
thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your
life in union with Christ Jesus." A virtue that we as Christians are
She mentions a parish in which there is a
relay in giving praise to individuals in the community. A name of one of
the parishioners is listed in the Bulletin for something that was done:
"Volunteered for 10 years in our Sunday School Program." "Every time
there is an event she took the initiative and gave us a good example."
These and similar reasons for giving praise and thanks appears and the
community expresses their thanks to the individual during the week.
month has passed since the visit of Pope Francis to Korea. He left us
with praise for love and service to others. "There is nothing that
belongs to me in this world," he is quoted as saying. We need to
compromise, show concern for others. The less we have of possessions
in the place in which we live the more leisure and good feelings we
will have to share with other human beings and created life. He is
thankful with tears, for all those that have come into his life. With
just a little thought he realizes that life is just a continual life of
thanks and blessing.
Our life, she concludes, should be one
of thanksgiving and praise. Let us long around us and be open to this manner of life in both our actions and words.