Discipline of Gratitude

By Melodious Monk

One November many years ago, our first president proclaimed: 

“Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country…” 

Following in Washington’s footsteps during a difficult time for our nation, Abraham Lincoln said this:

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of Events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.” 

Fast forwarding to our generation, the late Henri Nouwen, a man who seemed to know and cherish man’s universal purpose to glorify and give thanks to God, left us this advice. “In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy. Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint…the choice for gratitude rarely comes without some real effort. But each time I make it, the next choice is a little easier, a little freer, a little less self-conscious.”

Each day, and especially today, we can continue the generations-old tradition of choosing to place our thanks and trust in the loving “great disposer of events” as president Lincoln affectionately worded our creator.  I hope that in some way, my small offering of thanks today, together with yours, can join myriad legions of angels to help guide all of us to taste some inestimable blessings.

The Community of Jesus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit:  Artist’s depiction of George Washington praying at Valley Forge. (Public Domain)

November 26 Echoes of Eternity Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and ar…

November 26 Echoes of Eternity
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
Psalm 139:3
I am the first and the last, the beginning and the destiny of your life. I called you into being out of nothing, and willed your existence on earth. I loved you, even before you were conceived in your mother’s womb, and planned the path of your earthly life. I took into account your nature and the wrong choices you would make. They could not defeat My power and My plan, but they would cause you grief and suffering. My will for you is life, health, and strength. Weakness and sickness are allowed but are not My perfect will. Nevertheless
they are useful in fulfilling My plan. My persevering grace has kept you from falling headlong into ruin. Repentance and praise now are necessary to advance in the path I have set before you. Praise is repentance for it is a recognition and acceptance of My way over yours. Go forward along that path, for I am with you.

Circle of Life http://www.communityofjesus.org/?p=4088253

Circle of Life http://www.communityofjesus.org/?p=4088253


Circle of Life | The Community of Jesus
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By Renaissance Girl Isn##039;t it interesting that at the same time we are ending the calendar year, we begin the church year? My type A personality brain says — couldn##039;t we have coordinated this better? But as I think about our decorating this past weekend, hanging lights from the huge tree in front of the Convent, stringing garland along the walkways, making baked goods for the gift shop or putting candles in windows, it strikes me that logic and coordination are not what this season is about. [ 49 more words. ]

Circle of Life

By Renaissance Girl

Isn’t it interesting that at the same time we are ending the calendar year, we begin the church year? My type A personality brain says — couldn’t we have coordinated this better?

But as I think about our decorating this past weekend, hanging lights from the huge tree in front of the Convent, stringing garland along the walkways, making baked goods for the gift shop or putting candles in windows, it strikes me that logic and coordination are not what this season is about.

Our human minds tell us the year is closing, things are ending, darkness is prevalent and sleep is the order of the day.  Into this bursts the new Liturgical year, with light enough to illuminate the world, and cries “Sleepers Wake!”  And we leave off endings and begin again.

The Community of Jesus

November 25 Echoes of Eternity Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlastin…

November 25 Echoes of Eternity
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say Amen. Praise ye the Lord.
Psalm 106:48
My child, your thankfulness gladdens My heart and strengthens yours. It truly is a good thing to be thankful, because gratitude aligns your soul with My Spirit and opens you to the healing streams of My mercy. My heart is always gladdened when any child of mine becomes open to My mercy. Gratitude opens the “channels of reception,” which are necessary for you to receive the blessings I would willingly pour out on you. Gratitude is an antidote to false pride and
its distortions of the soul. It is an antidote to fear, because the soul recognizes the benevolence and good will which lay behind the gift. Gratitude opens the channels of fellowship and charity, because it kills false competition and jealousy. I have called you many times to praise and give thanks. My Word exhorts My people to give thanks. These are some of the inner reasons why praise is essential for your life with Me. Praise opens clogged channels, and the soul can grow stronger in the purer sunlight of My love and goodness when it turns away from itself and exercises this holy privilege.
Yes, My child, your thankfulness gladdens My heart and strengthens yours.

November 24 Echoes of Eternity For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all…

November 24 Echoes of Eternity
For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Romans 11:36
Hear, My child, the word for today. There is no need that I cannot fill. There is no situation that I cannot redeem. Your faith is still dwarfed and stymied by your reasoning, and your deep fear is the product. Only by trusting Me beyond the limits of your reasoning can you begin to have freedom from the plaguing fears.
The future is Mine—your future and the future of your loved ones. My arm has not been cut off, and My resources are limited only by My nature and My will. I am aware of all your circumstances and the anxieties you entertain even in sleep about those you love. Be of good cheer. The end is not yet, and I am still at work. I have not forgotten My promises, and My plans for you are good, not evil. Stay on the path I have set before you, and trust Me for all that is to come.

Stand up for The King! http://www.communityofjesus.org/?p=4088249

Stand up for The King! http://www.communityofjesus.org/?p=4088249


Stand up for The King! | The Community of Jesus
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By Cantor We often hear the phrase #quot;chant is so peaceful.#quot; Certainly, many chants do have an inherent sense of peace about them. But not all of them — sometimes the chant demands our attention, insisting that we stand up and listen! Last week, the communion antiphon began with the text #quot;Amen, dico vobis.#quot; Translated, that means #quot;So be it, I say to you.#quot; These words of Jesus are not set to a gentle recitation but rather burst forth on a trumpet-like motive that leaves no room for doubt that we need to listen to Jesus##039; words that follow. [ 119 more words. ]