As we approach the Feast of Thanksgiving, examine your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any attitudes—for example, discontentment, taking God’s benefits for granted, holding on to your own agenda, complacency—that blind you to God’s blessings and block you from experiencing and expressing gratitude. What could you do to overcome such hindrances and change your outlook? To make giving thanks to God a more conscious and active part of your life? Consider the words from some of the saints. What better words may we carry in our heart, pronounce with our mouth, write with a pen, than the words, “Thanks be to God”? There is no phrase that may be said so readily, that can be heard with greater joy, felt with more emotion or produced with greater effect. —St. Augustine, Letter 72 We should not accept in silence the benefactions of God, but return thanks for them. —St. Basil the Great There is no one who, with a little bit of thought, cannot but discover many reasons for being grateful to God. . . . Once we have come to an appreciation of all he has given to us, we will have abundant cause to give thanks continually. —St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermon for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost So, count your blessings! Write your own personal “litany of thanks.” Make a list of what you are grateful for and keep adding to it. Recount this list occasionally as you pray, thanking God for each of the particular benefits he has bestowed on you. You may find it helpful to use Psalm 103 as a model for your litany of thanks.
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