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Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
June 25, 2006
In Everything? . . .Give Thanks!

    If we are at least subtly aware of what goes on around us, both locally and worldwide, we may often have the temptation to doubt the beneficence of God.  There are many occasions, even daily, that give us the opportunity to doubt the goodness or perhaps, even the existence of God.  If we let ourselves go to our own self indulging mind, we could easily slip into a state of permanent anger if not a spiritual suicide.  “Where is God?”,  we ask.  Why does he allow such things to happen to me, to us, to the innocent people He Himself has created?  We shout out in desperation, “Where are you God and, what is wrong with you?” 

    If we are sincere about hearing the answer, we will hear it loud and clear.  It may come from a friend, a neighbor, a priest, a mentor.  It may come through an article in a magazine or even in a book of fiction.  It doesn’t really matter where the answer comes from.  The fact remains, the answer comes loud and clear.  It may come in a variety of verbal scenarios but it can always be reduced to the most common denominator which is: In Everything, Give Thanks!

    Giving thanks to God for something we see as a tragedy almost seems ludicrous.  Why should I thank God for taking my child away from me?  Why should I thank God for “blessing” me with terminal cancer?  Why should I thank God for losing my job or my spouse or a friend? The list could go on forever.  How can God even expect me to do this? What is wrong with God?

    Giving thanks to God is often a practice which is very much misunderstood.  We think of the practice as synonymous to being at a birthday party and unwrapping gifts for which we are deeply grateful.  We smile or laugh or cry for joy because we have received the perfect gifts.  Giving thanks for everything is not quite that simple.  It practice entails at least two major points.

    The first point that is necessary for this spiritual practice is that we are able to recognize that what is happening is indeed a gift.  This may often present itself as a challenge.  It is difficult to give thanks if we do not see the gift.  It is also difficult to see the gift if what is before our eyes gives us much emotional or physical pain. 

    This leads us to the second point.  Recognizing seemingly negative events as gifts in our lives takes a tremendous amount of Faith.  We must believe that God is greater than us.  We must believe that God is Faithful to his promise.  We must believe that God wants our happiness.  We must believe that God actually has a purpose for all that happens. We must believe that God actually loves us and is leading us to a better place if we only let him.

    Faith is closely connected to the virtue of Trust.  We may believe that God exists and that God is greater than us but can we Trust God to lead us through the difficult moments of our lives?  All human relationships depend of the ability of people to Trust.  If we are unable to Trust we are unable to develop worthwhile relationships.  We remain superficial in all our encounters. 
Where are we in relation to Trust in the all powerful, ever faithful and loving God?  Do we believe that he loves us?  It may take a while to accept the thought but it is the only way to perfect happiness.  Trust and Give Thanks. . .in All Things! 

Lorette P. Nault