The following is credited to Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, CEO of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation:
Thankfulness is much more than saying "Thank you" because we have to do so. Thankfulness is a way to experience the world, a way to perceive, a way to be surprised. Thankfulness is having open eyes and a short distance between the eyes and the heart.
In the New Testament, so much of Jesus' ministry took place at table. So many meals punctuate the New Testament – meals with Levi and his friends, meals with Simon the Pharisee, meals with crowds on the hillsides, meals with disciples, the ideal meals described in his parables. You can eat your way through the gospels! It is ultimately during the final meal that Jesus leaves us with his most precious gift in the Eucharist.
What are the features and qualities of grateful people? Remembrance is the most precious feature of the virtue of gratitude. One of the most important qualities is the ability to say "thank you" to others and to take no one and nothing for granted. Those who possess the virtue of gratitude are truly rich. They not only know they have been blessed, but they continuously remember that all good things come from God.
To acknowledge others, to say thank you, is a mark of greatness. If our colleagues and volunteers are dispirited and unmotivated, might it have something to do with the fact that we have never expressed our gratitude to them for who they are and what they do? The courage to thank – that is, the courage to see the gifts and experiences of this world all together as a gift – changes not only the person who gains this insight. It also changes the environment, the world, and those who surround that person.
Gratitude is creative. People bound together by gratitude are always discovering and awakening abundant sources of strength. The more thankful a person is, the richer he or she is within. Thankful people store up in their grateful memory all the good experiences of the past, just as the French proverb states: "Gratitude is the heart's memory.”
On behalf of Fr. Rich and the entire St. Mary Staff, I wish to extend to you and your families, blessings over these coming days when God continues to show His constancy of providence, and where we will have abundant opportunities to express our gratitude to Him and to the people in our lives. May we know safety in our travels and peace in our gatherings.
Finally, next weekend we will celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, which will include a special prayer of consecration at all the Masses.