On Gratitude

On Gratitude
Fr. Larry Blake, Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry

Last Friday I took a day off to try and finish raking the yard.  It was cold out and overcast but not windy I layered up with a hooded sweatshirt, gloves and a fleece cap.  It actually felt good to be out in the cold air.  From there my thoughts wandered down the street to my neighbor.  Two years ago, she survived a snowmobile accident which left her paralyzed from the waist down.  She spends most of her waking hours in a motorized wheel chair.  Her husband has had to renovate the house, adding an elevator so she can get from one floor to the next and a small apartment where the woman’s caregiver can stay overnight. 

Occasionally, when the weather is warm my neighbor gets outside and travels around the circle in her wheel chair enjoying sunshine and fresh air.  She is always pleasant when greeting the neighbors and never complains to anyone about her life.  My thoughts turned to gratitude.  On a cold day spent raking leaves, I am grateful that I am healthy and my loved ones are healthy. 

I have a friend who practices 30 days of gratitude in November.  Each day she posts on Facebook what she is thankful for; spouse, family, friends, etc.  It’s a nice lead in to Thanksgiving. 

St Paul native and author, Melody Beattie writes:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

Try ending your day by recalling the moments of the day that you are most grateful for.  It’s a wonderful way to be at peace at the end of each day.