From the First Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
My counselor once gave me a challenging homework assignment: everyday for six months, I had to write down daily gratefuls for ten minutes. Everyday I sat down with a notebook, set the timer, and wrote all the things I was grateful for in the past day. Some days were easier, and some were much harder. During a difficult time in my life, I was being spiritually stretched like a rubber band. But the beauty in that stretching was God widening my understanding of these words of St. Paul, “In all circumstances give thanks…” Cultivating a spirit of thanksgiving in my heart has changed how I look at my daily life. There really is always something to be grateful for.
Something happened to me over those six months, a type of spiritual heart transplant took place inside me. Even in the middle of a painful situation, I was able to recognize all this beauty and grace swirling around me. I just needed to take the time to notice it, to name it one by one.
I challenge you, sisters, to count your gratefuls each day for a set amount of time, for a week or two or a month. Buy a new, pretty notebook and special pen if that will help you. Set your timer and see where He leads you. Let your heart be generous to count the ways He loves and cares for you. There is no wrong way to do it – simply begin.
Let Us Pray
Jesus, sometimes it is difficult to thank You when life is difficult. In moments of fear or uncertainty, help me to count the ways You love and provide for me. Reaffirm that promise to the depths of my soul. Amen.
For Your Inspiration
Each week, we will have a special download for each form of prayer: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication (ACTS). Download this week’s printable below.
Patty Breen is midwestern gal from the Mitten state who finds joy in running, Ignatian spirituality, and reading lots of books. She’s a fulltime youth minister whose learning how to find grace in all things. She is passionate about ministry to divorced Catholics and those battling sexual addiction. You can find out more about her here.