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Always Give Thanks

In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

St. Paul shares one of the great secrets of spiritual life in this verse that he wrote to the Thessalonians.

Why is it so good to be grateful? Being grateful is a great spiritual life "hack." It is something that contributes a lot more to our spiritual lives than we would first imagine.

Being grateful

The first wonderful thing about gratitude is that it implies for us an attitude of humility. The person who expects to just have everything he desires is intolerable. Entitlement is one of the plagues that is affecting social interactions nowadays. Being thankful for things turns all of this on its head. It is easier for the heart and soul to be grateful for things. When we expect things to be given to us, we deal with a lot of disappointment. On the other hand, when we expect nothing from others, we feel joy in our hearts when we do receive something, knowing that it is a sign of someone's love and concern and non merely an expression of a transactional relationship.

In all circumstances

Obviously, some situations are easier than others to be grateful for what we have received. It is easy to be selective about our gratitude. We may want to limit it to certain persons or to certain times of the year. If we are upset or angry with someone, it may be harder to be grateful. But that is too bad because this is where gratitude can sometimes help us the most.

God's Will

God wants us to be grateful. But why is that? God knows the tremendous power that gratitude holds for us. If we are able to be grateful, we are inoculated against a lot of spiritual diseases. Pope Francis reminds us that "if we are bearers of gratitude, the world itself will become better, even if only a little bit, but that is enough to transmit a bit of hope. The world needs hope. And with gratitude, with this attitude of thanksgiving, we transmit a bit of hope." (December 30, 2020) God wants us to be ambassadors of gratitude in this world because, through this, we transmit hope to others.

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