Monday, November 23, 2009

Week of Thanks - Day One

I am kind of a naturally grumpy person, so I don't think that gratitude -- thankfulness -- is something that comes to me easily. Sometimes I have to make myself think, "You should be thankful for this; you have been blessed by [add specific situation/name of person]." Not a very charming thing to admit.

It particularly bothers me that right now, with our U.S. economy in such turmoil, I have an extra hard time feeling gratitude, mostly because it seems that everything is so difficult. I get tired of not having money, of constantly worrying about bills and making sure my husband has some new boots before snow falls because his old boots are about five years old and have holes in the soles, and are we going to have to have a pre-emptive strike on the money my parents and grandparents give us for Christmas so that we can pay the utilities and the gas's just wearing. I feel like all this has changed me into a different kind of person, one who is warier and less hopeful and much less convinced that the future will be bright. Ugh.

But there are blessings that I definitely recognize. I'm not a total curmudgeon, after all. And the thing I feel the most gratitude for on this week leading up to Thanksgiving is the privilege of being Catholic. Knowing Jesus in the depth and breadth of His Church -- spiritually and historically -- has changed my entire life. Despite my many flaws and failings, I have loved Jesus since I was a child and it has been my greatest joy to be able to become closer to Him in the sacraments, the birthright of Christians everywhere.

"Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere."

-Psalm 84:10

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