The virtue of gratitude means having a thankful disposition of the mind and heart. Blessed Solanus Casey often said, “Thank God ahead of time” because he understood that God would always do what was best for him. So, I encourage you to think about everything in your life that you are blessed with: your family, your friends, work, school, the ability to read, the fact that you woke up this morning, etc. Know that everything you have in your life comes from God and He places these blessings upon you for a reason.
Practicing the virtue of gratitude doesn’t just mean being thankful for the good things in your life. It also means being thankful for your sufferings. This is a very hard task for us to do because sometimes we can’t comprehend why God allows us to bear crosses. He permits them for a reason.
St. Josephine Bakhita suffered a great deal for many years of her life but when she found God, her heart was filled with gratitude. She became grateful for the suffering she endured as a slave because she was able to offer it all up to God. When we are able to offer our sufferings up to God, it allows us to grow in our faith and open our eyes to see God’s love for us.
I hope that this newsletter inspires all of us to focus on this virtue during this season of Advent. Be thankful for the blessings God has given you, the hardships you’ve endured, and the little things we often take for granted. Remember to thank God every day for allowing His only Son to suffer so that we can be brought into salvation and have eternal life with Him.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”-James 1:2-4