Sunday, August 15, 2010

We Must Ask for Gratitude

This week's posting features a guest writer. Actually, it is a person that I respect highly. It's Paul Moore, Rector of St. Christopher's Church of Killeen, Texas (USA). He is also a Blogger; follow his Thoughts about Life on Blogger.

Father Paul, as he is affectionately known, preached a sermon with regard to gratitude and being thankful in July 2010. The sermon really resonated with me...I believe that you all will be touched as am I.

Gratitude Comes from Asking

by Rev Paul Moore

(Killeen, TX, USA)


Rev Paul Moore

Rev Paul Moore

Nothing feels as good to us and/or to others as gratitude. Yet the feelings of gratitude are merely a taste, the evidence, and not the substance. Gratitude can be lived as well as felt, and living gratitude tends, over the long haul, to give us the feelings of gratitude.

It may seem a reversal, but we live gratitude by asking. Within the lessons of the Gospel, Jesus begins by teaching the disciples to pray. It is swift and to the point: Praise, Petition, Penitence, and Praise. And then he teaches them about petitionary prayer. He teaches that God is a loving Father.

Ask and you shall receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Who better than our earthly fathers and neighbors, knows how to give good gifts than our heavenly Father?

Notice how the seeds of gratitude are already planted in our souls even as we contemplate this? Why? Because we know instinctively that when God invites us to ask, it is not a license for selfishness. It's much--much more than that. It goes to the very heart of our relationship with God.

By asking and receiving, we are in relationship with God. The spirituality of MILAGROS and PROMESAS along the border of Mexico is an excellent example of this. The Faithful, promise God, something in exchange for a miracle. When they receive what they have asked for, or even in pledge beforehand, they will fulfill their promise.

It may be to stop drinking or smoking, it may be to treat someone in the household more graciously. It may even be to make a pilgrimage to a shrine...or to give a certain amount of money to a church or charity. But this is not an economic transaction that balances the books. It is a way of dialog; of staying in touch or of maintaining a relationship.

Ask, and then, Receive! Know that God is near you and I--and we are near Him. With that, all that is left is to Be Thankful.

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