GRATITUDE becomes the starting point for spiritual awareness. It is with and through gratitude that I am allowed to wonder at the riches of life.
Once again Thomas Merton tells me: “Gratitude takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awaking to the new wonder and to the praise of the goodness of God.”
Gratitude is the habit that fosters in me the courage to live the last act, the final inning, as completely as possible.
Gratitude is a habit that insists that one be alert, alive, looking, listening and eager to receive, it is nourished by wonder.
With the counselor and with reflection and with prayer, I found that this time in my life is a time of grace and gratitude; the opportunities for growth and learning are still part of the landscape.
So often, “thank you” is a throwaway line. Unless the word “thank you” comes from a deep sense of the gift the other has given and a sense of my appreciation, it is just that – a throwaway line.
The last time I visited with James Shannon was at the Saint Paul Cathedral during the half hour before the start of Archbishop Roach’s funeral. We sat together and talked. We talked about the church of today. We talked about what life has been for each of us. We talked about our differing relationship with John Roach; and I had the chance to say “thank you, Jim, for all you have been to me on this journey”. He smiled and as we parted he said of me. ”Steve, for me this has truly been an occasion of grace.” A gracious man, a holy man acknowledges that a “thank you” is always a response to an occasion of grace.
Fr. Steve Adrian