Today’s Gospel: Luke 17:11-19 – Memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
When I was a kid, my mom always made my sisters and me write thank-you notes for Christmas and birthdays. Didn’t matter if we liked the gift or not, or who had given it (siblings and parents only exempted), at some point we had to make write a little card with three main points: an expression of gratitude, mention of the specific item, and how we would use it or what impact it would make. These generally ended up looking like something along the lines of:
Dear Grandma and Grandpa,
Thank you very much for the Barnes and Noble gift card. I am saving it to buy a boxed set of the Narnia books. [Yes, I had an exciting childhood.]
Today’s gospel always makes me reflect on how often I say “Thank You” to God. If I’m honest, it’s usually a short and uncomfortable reflection as I realize I haven’t said anything in gratitude for a really long time. And then I skip on to something else.
But recently, I’ve tried to start praying a nightly examen. One of the parts of an examen encouraged by some spiritual writers is to look back on the day with gratitude – reviewing the whole day, piece by piece, and offering God a sincere thank you for all the ways He has been present in our lives. Sometimes I can point to an answered prayer, sometimes just a memory of daily Mass, but always there is something. It’s worth it to heal that wound in Jesus’ heart for the nine lepers who went their own ways.
When was the last time you told God how grateful you are for all He has done in your life?
My God, You are so good to me. Even in the darkest times, always Your grace is there to light the way and guide me. When You are at work in my heart, help me to come back to You, thanking and praising You for Your goodness to me.
Copyright 2019 Rebecca Willen
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