St. Thérèse of Lisieux to her sister, Céline
What most draws down graces from our dear Lord is gratitude, for if we thank him for a gift, he is touched and hastens to give us ten more, and if we thank him again with the same sincerity, what an incalculable multiplication of graces! I have experienced this: try it and you will see. My gratitude for all that he gives me is boundless, and I prove this to him in a thousand ways. (source)
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What is one of the most basic things a parent teaches their little one? How to say please and thank you. It can be very entertaining to watch a toddler learn and be reminded of this. It is so cute to watch a parent gently remind their child, “What do you say now?” after they’ve been given something.
We have a spiritual rockstar, a Doctor of the Church, sharing a simple yet mind-blowing truth in a letter to her sister, Céline. St. Thérèse is saying that what facilitates more graces from the Lord is gratitude, a spirit of thanksgiving. She is reminding us that the importance of thanking God daily is like a mother reminding her young child to say “thank you.”
This does not mean if we thank God we press a magical button and that God will give us whatever we ask. That is not true worship, but using God to give us what we want.
A spirit of thanksgiving in our daily prayer draws us into deeper communion with Jesus Christ. It reminds us who is God and who is not in the relationship. Each of our lives, sisters, is pure gift, as is everything in it. How different would our lives look if we lived with that perspective each day?
Your whole life is pure gift, sister. Start and end your day with thanksgiving for all God has given you. Yes, even give thanks for the pain and difficulties.
Let Us Pray
Dear Jesus, multiply Your grace and power more in each of our lives. Teach us to say “thank you” for even the littlest things in our life. Help us to never take for granted the blessings we have. 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.
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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.