Remember when I said I was going to do one of these posts every Wednesday this month? Oh well… this turned into something different than originally planned, and is finally being completed. But hopefully, it will touch you in some way.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am continuing to keep myself focused on the many blessings I have in my life. I recall reading a portion of Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales about 10 years ago for a private retreat. I was trying to discern whether or not I would stay in my position as Executive Director at Women’s Care Clinic. (I stayed for another 7 years.) In the book, St Francis invites the reader to ponder all “Benefits of God” – bodily advantages (health and material things,) gifts of mind (intellect, creativity,) and spiritual graces (Sacramental life, mercy,) and I filled many pages of my journal. Once I started writing, I couldn’t stop until my hands were fatigued. So. Many. Blessings! It can be easy to take things for granted, especially in our comfy life here in the U.S. When was the last time any of us said “Thank you, God, for this toothpaste and toothbrush”? Believe me, I didn’t utter that prayer this morning, either. Perhaps tonight, it will be on my lips! So here are some gifts, some “Benefits of God,” which for which I am grateful:
Bodily Advantages ~
- While I have numerous health issues, I do have insurance through my husband’s employer, so I can see doctors and get prescriptions when needed.
- My house is a beautiful, safe house that Bruce and I bought together, filled with more clothing than we need. Food is in the pantry and refrigerator. I am typing on a laptop which I own. Every inch of ribbon, drop of ink, and sheet of card stock in my craft room is a treasure.
- Bruce has a very good job with good pay and benefits that make all of this “stuff” possible to own. He is healthy (overall) and can enjoy his very physical work. He is also healthy enough to help me with more and more personal tasks as I grow older. God sent me a very good man!
Gifts of Mind ~
- Even on my weakest days, I have the ability to express my thoughts and needs to others. Whether spoken or written, I can share both serious and silly ideas. I can engage in dialogue and debate.
- My mind is often filled with creative ideas, like a special design for a Christmas card or a subject for a new post. I often get lost in my thoughts; I am a daydreamer…something I truly enjoy!
- I have the ability to read, and I enjoy books of many varieties. I am always in the middle of at least three different books.
Spiritual Graces ~
- I love my Catholic faith and the blessings of Sacramental life. I live in a part of the world where several parishes are within a short drive. I know the priests here, and could call any of them if I needed Anointing or Reconciliation.
- While my knowledge of Sacred Scripture is limited, I have access to the Word of God every day to grow in that knowledge. Whether in print, in an online reflection, or on my smart phone, I can ponder God’s messages of mercy and love throughout the day.
- I have a call to ministry and prayer for others. My role has changed over the years, but I know my joy comes in serving God by serving others.
I could go on and on and on. Sometimes, I am amazed when I ponder these blessings. By taking time out of my day to say “Thank you Lord,” my mood is lifted. Simply speaking, gratitude feels a lot better than grumpiness! Regardless of how much time I spend in prayers of thanksgiving, I must remember Who is the source of every good thing. All of these blessings are ultimately from God. He is that loving…and more. More than I can ever express.
To Him be all thanksgiving, all honor, all praise forever and ever…Amen!