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Gratitude August 29, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, religious, Saints, Virtue.
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From Divine Intimacy, day 283 or the Wednesday of the 13th Week After Pentecost:

St. Bernard says, “Ingratitude is the enemy of the soul, the destroyer of merit and virtue, causing the loss of favors. It is a burning wind which dries up the fountain of piety, the torrents of Grace.”  Gratitude, on the contrary, attracts new graces, new gifts: it draws down upon souls the infinite liberality [of God]. But this gratitude should be sincere and cordial, and should extend to all of God’s gifts. “Every gift of God, whether great or small, should be gratefully acknowledged; not even the least grace should be forgotten.” This sincere gratitude flourishes only in a heart that is humble, convinced of its own poverty, and thoroughly aware that it is nothing and can do nothing without continual help from God. It is not impossible, in fact, to thank God with the lips, while in the heart, one attributes the graces received to one’s own merits. Such was the false gratitude of the Pharisee……this proud man was far from recognizing his own nothingness and attributing to God alone the little good that might have been in him.  A humble man has an entirely different attitude; if he has done some good, or practiced virtue, he is convinced that all is the fruit of Grace, and therefore, not only God’s great gifts to him, but even the least of the good works he performs, are opportunities for giving continual thanks to God, whom he recognizes as the source of all good. Who, then, can express enough gratitude for every Mass, every Communion, for every confession?…….And the truth is this: each sacrament, each divine succor, each actual grace, each spiritual or material help, brings with it newness of grace, of spiritual life, of love; blessed the soul who realizes this and praises God for it! If the multitude of divine benefits do not produce in us proportionate fruits, the reason probably lies in our want of gratitude, and if we want to look more deeply at the root of this evil, almost always we shall find that it is a lack of humility. [In other words, our pride drives our lack of humility]

[The amazing St. Catherine of Siena adds……] I give you thanks, O eternal Father, because You have not despised Your creature, nor turned away Your face from me, nor ignored my desires. You, who are light, did not despise my darkness; You, who are life, did not go far away from me who am death; nor did You, the physician, fail to heal my wounds…Your wisdom, mercy, and infinite Goodness have not looked with scorn at all these and the infinite number of other evils and faults that are in me. What forced You to love me and to grant me so many graces? It was not my virtues but only Your Charity. May I always keep Your favors in mind, and may my will burn with the fire of Your Charity.

O inestimable Love, how admirable are the things You have done in Your creature! O my wretched, blind soul, where is your cry of gratitude, where are the tears you should shed in the sight of your God who is unceasingly calling to you? [We must lose our love of selves to have true, fitting gratitude for God’s manifold benefits to us] Where are all my yearning desires in the sight of Divine Mercy? They are not in me because I have not yet lost myself, for if I were lost and had sought only You, my God, only the glory and praise of Your Name, my heart would have thrilled in a hymn of gratitude.

Thanks be to You, O eternal, most high Trinity! I am she who is not and You are He Who Is. Glorify yourself by enabling me to praise you. Pardon me, O Father, pardon me who am miserable, and ungrateful to You for the immense benefits I have received. I confess that Your Goodness has preserved me, Your spouse, although because of my many defects, I have often been unfaithful to You.

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