By Fr. Tirso Villaverde


..."Be confident with a sense of gratitude "

...continued from Home Page


Living with a sense of gratitude is not the same as living oblivious of the struggles and difficulties. On the contrary, living with a sense of gratitude admits that life oftentimes is extremely difficult to bear. However, living with a sense of gratitude also affords us the strength to see the grace of God always at work in our lives—even in the times of great despair or loss of hope.

As we celebrate this month as the time to give thanks, a healthy sense of gratitude will allow us to see the many ways that God is at work in our lives. It is not simply a matter of “counting our blessings.” Instead, it is living with eyes, ears, minds, hearts, and souls open to the many ways that God comes to us in the challenges as well as in the joys of life. It is also more than simply putting a “positive spin” on the worst of experiences. On one level, it is seeing the positive in every moment and every person. It is purposely focusing on the good all around us and in the people we encounter.

If we only focus on the negative—in events and in other people—eventually, that is the only thing that we will notice. Focusing too heavily or exclusively on how bad life is or on how bad people are will only lead us to moments of despair because we will only expect life to be bad.

Living with gratitude is also living every moment constantly reminded of the words of St. Paul, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Knowing that Christ’s strength is constantly with us at all times gives us not only the confidence to face challenges but also the gratitude to know that we owe everything to the grace of God. The more we become aware of God’s grace in and around us, there is no event or experience that will be strong enough to drive us to despair.

As we come together this month to celebrate Thanksgiving, let us hope that this will not be the only time when we will count and name the blessings in our lives. May we constantly live with a sense of gratitude knowing that, at every moment of our lives, we are being blessed and strengthened by God. May we find in this the confidence to live life full of hope.




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