This community of prayer is about thanksgiving. Not necessarily the celebration - especially if you are outside the U.S and Canada, it doesn't mean anything to you - but rather the attitude.
It will be a potpourri of reflexions and prayers about gratefulness, short and easy to read, which we hope, will bless you in many ways and transform you both spiritually and mentally!
Example of a post you will receive:
Today, our guest is Father Cardó, who gives us some insights to turn gratitude from mere theory to a daily practice.
“Gratitude is an essential disposition because it's about how we understand life, ourselves, everything,” Father Cardó said. “We can all think of things we didn't expect that were a gift to us. That surprise is a very profound experience of letting love move our hearts, of truly receiving what is happening. And that is the first step of responding.”
“A good way to be grateful is to be simple, [to remember] that there is a good in what we're receiving and in the fact that we're receiving,” he continued. “We can go beyond the gift and think about why we're given gifts.”
“Gratitude comes from the way we see God, ourselves and others. If we're too self-centered, we think everything's our right,” he explained. “The more we grow in gratitude, the more we see God as a Father and others as our brothers and sisters who, as ourselves, have received everything as a gift. We have to see ourselves as a gift, that's important.”
An essential benefit of gratitude is a shift in perspective when suffering comes our way — instead of despairing, we see that somehow, good still comes during and after difficult times.
“If we're grateful, we'll not complain or be scandalized when we suffer. It was good for Job to go through suffering because it made him more grateful,” Father Cardó added. “In Christ, we know he doesn't send evil, but we know he allows good to come from it when we're suffering."
“One of the reasons St. Augustine says we don't have our prayers answered is to expand our desire and grow more,” he continued. “Why are we so scandalized when we suffer? Something amazing happens at one point in Job's story, and I'm paraphrasing, but he complains at first, but then he said, ‘I knew you only through hearsay but now I see you with my eyes.'”
So how does one practice gratitude daily until the habit is formed?
Father Cardó recommends simple prayers, including the Examen to grow in a daily practice of gratitude; the Examen is a simple method of prayer developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola, in five steps: asking God for light of understanding, giving thanks, reviewing the day as guided by the Holy Spirit, facing our shortcomings and looking forward to the day to come.
“One practical thing is to say a prayer when we wake up and say thank you to God. Or doing the Examen prayer at night for a few minutes reflecting about our day. You can even do it as a family a few minutes before dinner. Those are two simple things,” he suggested. “Another thing is during Thanksgiving, find time to think about the greatest gifts of our lives and even to write them down. And to give thanks to God for those gifts and to say thank you to those who are gifts to us, to make a call and say thank you.”
"Gratitude isn't something that's complicated, Father Cardó added. "It's simple, and when we're simple, we're more joyful."
“If we're grateful, we're going to be more simple. When we get too complicated or expect too much from people, we eliminate the capacity to be surprised,” he concluded. “The more grateful we are, the more simple, the more joyful we will be. If we're simple, we know God will give us what we need. He promises to give us what we need. Gratitude makes us receive what we need with joy.”