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Don’t be discouraged. Do this instead …

WOMAN THANKING

Goncharov Artem | Shutterstock

Tom Hoopes - published on 06/28/21

God is pouring blessings out on your life right now.

Are you discouraged and anxious? Don’t be. God is pouring blessings out on your life right now. Offer him the “sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving” to remind yourself of his love.

Thank him for the time to read that you are enjoying now, in a comfortable room, a comfortable chair, or a place outside. Thank him for the breaks you enjoyed earlier today and yesterday. Thank him especially for the time to pray.

Thank him for the material comforts that fill your life: food, shelter, clothing, health, drinking water. Many people do not have these things.

Thank him for the beauty you see all around you, especially the beauty you can see now or noticed recently; trees which are beautiful; the sky which is a constantly changing palette; the way the wind blows the grass, or leaves; the sunshine’s bright reflections or the deep shades of overcast days. And thank him for indoor beauty — your furniture, décor, and even your phone were all designed to be pleasing to your eye.

Thank him for truth; for the order in the universe and our ability to know it. Thank him for the precise truths revealed by math and the expansive truths revealed by poetry, religion, and art; thank him for the vast view of the cosmos and the microscopic truths of molecules that science gives us; thank him for the deep truths about the human person and the subtle truths about each other we find in literature and in daily life.

Thank him for the goodness in the world. Thank him for the many kind deeds you personally experienced yesterday and today from those who love you, or from the kindness of strangers. Thank him for every kind word and smile. Thank him for the labors of others that you enjoy — those who work on electric lines, street maintenance, garbage trucks, law enforcement, and cell services; thank him for supply chains that reach you from farm to grocer, from factory to shipping to your home. Thank him for the triumph of goodness everywhere — for employers, health care workers, teachers, and volunteers locally, and for veterans, explorers, inventers, heroes and saints worldwide.

Thank him for those who took the time and patience to help you learn to read, write, and do math, and for those who formed you in the faith. Thank him for your ancestors who endured hardships for Jesus Christ, the disciples who reached you or your parents. Thank him for the Bible; the Gospels, the Ten Commandments, the Psalms, and the Beatitudes — and for Church teaching; the magisterium, the Catechism, and those who promote them. Thank him for the great Catholic devotions: the Sacred Heart, the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, and above all Eucharistic adoration.

Thank him for the crosses that made you stronger: The discipline you received that led to more self-control; the times you lost something you were clinging to too tightly; the great sadness that helped you rely on God more; the crushing disappointment that made you ask hard questions and find important answers;  the suffering that opened space in your heart for more love; the unanswered prayers that you see now were best left unanswered; and the small irritations that remind you that you aren’t the center of the world.

Thank him for the gifts of faith, hope and love that so often come through the cross of Christ. He agonized over your sins, was scourged for them, carried them to Calvary, then died with arms wide open to show you that he forgives you. He rose from the dead to cancel out your death, he ascended into heaven to give you your mission, and sent his Holy Spirit to fill you with his life.

Above all, thank him for adopting you in baptism, and giving you eternal life in the Eucharist. Thank him for marking you with an indelible seal that says, today and forever, “This one is mine. And no one takes what is mine.”

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Spiritual Life
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