Gratitude is the infinite giving and receiving of love between seekers and God. Gratefulness is prayerfulness. Prayerfulness is prayer without ceasing. Gratitude is all we can offer in return for our awakening to the great Mystery in which we live and move and have our being.The Hidden Life Awakened page 203
In the Gospel accounts, Jesus never did miracles to prove himself or his power. Always, he was moved by tenderness and deep compassion for the sick and broken, the poor and outcast, because he knew their pain and was intimately acquainted with their sorrows. Usually, after he healed someone, he would tell them not to tell anyone about the miracle he had done for them. Once he healed ten lepers of the life-long scourge that had disfigured them and made them complete outcasts. “But the other nine, where are they?” Jesus sadly asked the only leper of the ten who returned to thank Him.1The rest had happily received their healing and gone excitedly on their way.
Not many of us return to enter into the flow of gratitude when a prayer is answered. We are excited, and we forget. But if we will consciously focus on remembering to return to thank God for even the smallest gift, our relationship can be a constant flow of perfect giving and perfect receiving. God is the giver. The gift is love. We are the receivers. We are the thanks givers. The gift is loving gratitude. God is the receiver.
A further word from Betty:
I see a picture in my heart all the time of the sweet, sweet relationship between the Father and the Son. The Father, so willing to pour Himself out for the Son and the Son so willing to receive it and give it all back in gratitude—no strings, no conditions, no counting the cost.
We, as His chosen, must endeavor to live our lives in this sharing flow of love. How do we get caught up in this endless spiral of love? By returning to God to say thank you. Our gesture of gratitude completes the exchange, accelerates the spiral in which the giver gets thanked and so becomes the receiver. The joy of giving and receiving rises higher and higher until our gratitude becomes the reflection of God’s mercy.
It is important for us to remember that all that is is a divine gift. Every breath we draw is a gift of love. Every moment of our existence is grace. Thus, our sacrifice of thanksgiving implies not just a quick easy word of thanks, but rather our whole lives given over in grateful response and loving obedience.
The great mystery of gratitude is that what is accepted in thanksgiving multiplies in the sharing of it with others.2Five loaves and five fishes, when received as a gift in gratitude, were enough to feed a multitude. Would this in itself not be enough to call forth our hearts to prayer, to offer all that we have, all that we are, all that we could ever hope to be, back to Him in deepest gratitude?
Prayerfully, may you share this crumb of broken bread with others. ~Betty
With gratitude to Tim Robison Creative for the beautiful image