Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:
- For a winter that’s been milder than usual even though today’s its quite cold.
- For Lent and Ash Wednesday. It is and should be a hard time, but Christians are in this together, side by side working on their relationship with God and reviewing how they live their lives. I like seeing people around town with the black smudges on their heads.
- For my library. This winter I’ve used it so much. Not just for books and DVDs, but I tried out the Great Books Club and may have made a new friend there. I also have been going to a great yoga class there and today saw an afternoon movie for free.
- For the assisted living place my aunt is now in. She’s gotten used to this arrangement and it’s clean and cheerful. She doesn’t do them, but there are activities available. (The only thing I’d grumble about is the horrid food. You don’t need to cook broccoli for half an hour.)
- For the chance last week to visit my cousin who’s 83 in Florida. Her husband of 60-some years died in 2015 and while Ann is so cheerful and outgoing, it’s been a tough year for her. I missed our visits but got to go there for a few days.
Sunday at mass the priest offered a list of Lenten practices that are more trans-formative than, say giving up chocolate.
Fast from worry; feast on God’s providence.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from hostility; feast on tenderness.
Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast from unceasing prayer.
Fast from judging others; feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from fear of illness; feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on speech that purifies.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from personal anxiety; feast on the fullness of truth.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion.
Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.
Fast from gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that sustains.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.
I’m listening to a good podcast on Lent from Midday Connection. Check it out.
Though this is the third day of lent, I’m still searching for what I’m going to do. Of course, I won’t eat meat on Friday, but I’m looking for more to do and hoping to do something positive and giving something up. In the past I’ve given up police dramas like Law and Order and others. That had a profound effect as my mood changed and I found myself more serene by doing so. In fact, after that I watched that genre a lot easier.
Here’s a link to an interesting story on churches that take the giving of ashes out of the church and into the street, quite innovative. I think there are good ways to be public about faith. When it’s done with humility, we’re doing God’s work. He doesn’t want us to be embarrassed about our beliefs and I think we can be guilty of that. I think we can be more inviting.