Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
October 30, 2020
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 111 set in complementarity with a beautiful reading from Philippians.
The heart of both these readings is holy gratitude, that powerful spiritual gift that can completely transform our lives.
Although I have been generously blessed for my whole life, I had to learn this virtue, and I’m still learning. Its lessons are infinite, as is the God from Whom we learn them. God’s generous mercy and our humble gratitude generate the dynamic energy of our spiritual life.
A lifetime may not be long enough
to attune ourselves fully
to the harmony of the universe.
But just to become aware
that we can resonate with it —
that alone can be like
waking up from a dream.
― Brother David Steindl-Rast
Sometimes we take a lot for granted. We don’t notice. We don’t realize. We don’t savor the gift right in front of us, be it clothed in blessing or challenge.
Our readings today teach us some of the steps toward that “waking up” that Brother David describes.
- Prayer for those we know and love, and a generous mutuality in a community of believers:
I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you,Philippians 1:3-5
praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you,
because of your partnership for the Gospel
from the first day until now.
2. Pausing to recognize that everything is God’s, and that God is bringing Creation to completion within each of our lives:
Majesty and glory are God’s work,Psalm 111:3-4
Whose justice endures forever.
God’s wondrous deeds have won renown;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
Certainly, it is easier to practice gratitude when we experience the fullness of God’s generosity. Eventually though, we can learn to be grateful even in times where God’s largesse may seem hidden, such as loss, change, or uncertainty.
The continual practice of gratitude can help us find the sacred sweet point in every situation, discerning these questions
- Where is God in this moment?
- How is God offering me grace in this reality?
There are many other attitudes and habits that can school us in gratitude. One of the books that has changed my life is Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer, where I learned about some of these practices.
May we pray this for one another today:
“As we learn to give thanks for all of life and death, for all of this given world of ours, we find a deep joy. It is the joy of trust, the joy of faith in the faithfulness at the heart of all things. It is the joy of gratefulness in touch with the fullness of life.”Brother David Steindl-Rast
Music: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart – Dan Moen