Thursday, July 27, 2017

Marianist Prayer Week: Gratitude is an intentional act

Our prayer reflections often focus on the joy of our religious vocation. We are thankful for so many things. In our Province we must never lose the habit of being appreciative. 
Fostering an attitude of gratitude is not just feeling but it is expressing thankfulness.

Counting our blessings and literally listing them until the "haves" overwhelm the "have-nots." Consciously being aware of the services that we do for one another. Preparing the meals, retrieving the newspapers, locking up each night, and checking up on one another are just a few of the day-to-day courteous actions in our Communities.

There is a case study in which one group of people listed five things they were thankful for. They did this weekly for 10 weeks. Comparison groups in the study wrote different kinds of weekly lists — “five major events,” “five hassles this week,” etc. The “thankful” group reported more happiness and contentment than did the comparison groups. They even reported improved health in the form of fewer headaches and coughs.

So, skip the doc. Just say “thanks” more.

In pay-it-forward fashion, people we intentionally thank will also experience increased happiness. Expressing gratitude is the stone thrown into the flat water. It creates a ripple that affects everything around it.

The new age bumper sticker encourages us to “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty."

“No!” we would say.

Don’t make our acts random and senseless. Make them planned, intentional and habitual. Attach them to Brothers with whom we live so we can infect them with happiness also.

We can think of this as a halo of happiness. Gratitude first impacts its giver and then radiates through the receivers.

Although God may appreciate this approach , in all actuality He is probably smiling a told-you-so grin. Expressing gratitude brings joy to the giver but also radiates happiness to people around us.

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Pray for the Canonization of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

"I went to see a good priest who was my Director, and when I asked him how I was to act, he told me: “Our Lord would not have done that . . . Our Lord did this.” Indeed, this was an excellent answer."

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade