Giving thanks to God and others is one action that makes us more human.
The humble doorman known as Bl. Solanus Casey was well known for his spirituality of thankfulness. He firmly believed in the value of gratitude and once said, “Gratitude is the first sign of a thinking, rational creature; ingratitude leads to so many breaks with God and our neighbor.”
This is a basic message echoed by the words and actions of Jesus Christ, who said to one of the 10 lepers cleansed of their disease, “‘Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?’ Then he said to him, ‘Stand up and go; your faith has saved you'” (Luke 17:17-18).
Solanus Casey lived in a constant spirit of thanksgiving, always thinking about the graces God had given him and even the graces God would give him in the future.
Let us thank him at all times and under whatever circumstances. Thank him for our creation and our existence, thank him for everything — for his plans in the past that by our sins and our want of appreciation and patience have so often been frustrated and that he so often found necessary to change. Let us thank him for all his plans for the future — for trials and humiliations as well as great joy and consolations; for sickness and whatever death he may design to plan … thank him ahead of time for whatever he foresees.
He also believed that living with gratitude paved the way to true joy and peace. It is a way to calm down our anxieties and helps us understand that everything we have is a gift from God.
When thinking about your own spiritual life, consider how you can increase in gratitude, both to God and to others. By doing so you will become more human and find peace with others and God.
A Psalm to pray in thanksgiving to God
The benefits of practicing everyday gratitude