“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” —G.K. Chesterton
As I look back on my life, there are two instances that stand out in my mind as moments where I felt especially grateful. It’s interesting that both occasions did not involve anything material.
Of course I am grateful for the diamonds and roses that Jeff has brought me, and for the gifts we have received from loving relatives and friends, but why these two occasions stand out in my mind is because I was in very great need and someone voluntarily offered to help.
You Know the Feeling…
Once was after the birth of our first child. Two friends came over and completely cleaned our mobile home from top to bottom, even dusting the drapes while I sat on the couch holding a baby.
I knew they were doing it completely out of love and selflessness, which made their gift so special. The warm feeling in my heart couldn’t be expressed in words.
The other occasion was one in which the person who helped me probably has no idea how that moment made a difference to me.
It was just a simple offer to pick up a child from school and bring her home. I had several places I needed to be all at the same time that day and the task of juggling it all was overwhelming. Her cheerful offer brought tears to my eyes and she could not have imagined how deep was my thank you.
We Were Made to Be Dependent
In order to be truly thankful, we need to acknowledge our inability to be self-sufficient.
We need to remind ourselves to have such gratitude toward God since our every breath is dependent on his mercy and loving kindness. That inexpressible, warm feeling of gratitude should overwhelm us everyday and especially during Mass when the host is elevated and we enter into the mystery of the sacrifice made by the God of the universe just for us.
To become truly thankful is to realize how needy we are.
Recently a dear friend of mine suffered an accident and was in need of daily assistance. Church friends and neighbors rallied around her and made sure she was cared for. It was a great testament to the community and a blessing to watch because I could see how grateful and overwhelmed my friend was by the outpouring of help.
If you can think back to a time when you had that feeling of overwhelming gratitude, capture it in your heart and bring it to Mass as an offering to Christ.
Now Over to You:
Do you remember a time when someone helped you out of the kindness of their hearts? How did you respond, and how has gratitude enriched your life?
You May Also Like:
Giving Thanks is Necessary (video)
About Emily Cavins
Emily received her bachelor of arts degree in classical and Near Eastern archaeology from the University of Minnesota. She is a tour leader of annual pilgrimages to Israel and other Bible-related destinations. Emily is also the developer of the Bible study resources, and co-author of The Great Adventure Storybook. She co-authored the Walking Toward Eternity Bible Study Series, Part One (Daring to Walk the Walk) and Two (Engaging the Struggles of Your Heart) with her husband, Jeff. Some of her other work includes: Great Adventure Kids, Lily of the Mohawks: The Story of St. Kateri, and Catholic Family Night, a series of lessons covering all three liturgical reading cycles with one lesson per week throughout the entire year.
Emily lives in Minnesota with Jeff, her husband of over thirty years.
This blog post first appeared on The Great Adventure Blog (biblestudyforcatholics.com) on August 7, 2014. Find out more about Great Adventure Bible studies here or by clicking the banner below: