A month to remember the gifts that surround and sustain us
I was grateful this morning that Richard Rohr posted an excerpt from Diana's book on Gratefulness for his Daily Meditations column from the Center for Action and Contemplation.
Excellent article and thoughts! Thanks for sharing.
Diana, am grateful for stumbling upon your interview with Marianne Williamson. It was a provocative, but healing conversation that helped me after a very tough day. Gracias!
Living and walking in gratitude is essential for a spiritual life. But I always feel a tug on my heart when I say that because I have lost a child. Really hard to be grateful for Eric dying and all the horrible things that happened. But there are a lot of doors and opportunities to spread God’s good love that I am grateful for. Ultimately I am so very grateful for my life. And when people say why do bad things happen to good people? I kept asking God’ “what did I do to deserve this? This world is a place of both good and evil. I have a great advantage in this life with the Comforter. Those without that Great Love are truly lonely.
Schweitzer's statement is echoed by several 20th Century theologians. They knew that periods of relative calm do not last. We are lulled into the belief that "the good will prevail". Now, it is hard to say that "All is good" in a world filled with conflict and catastrophe. Alienation, and despair are ubiquitous. In Tillich's words, "we have forgotten that this is the true state of things". So, what is good about the current state of things? It enables us to see what is real in this world. We can develop a faith and courage that allows us to say yes to this world and to our lives. We can be examples of sanity and a deep faith. We may even promote solutions that might save this planet.
Diana, Transformation begins with gratitude. D
Robin Kimmlere, Native American author, seems to live in gratitude. I just finished her reading her book Braiding Sweetgrass. She even starts the acknowledgements by thanking plants and trees for their gifts to us (paper, shelter, etc.). Throughout her book she gives examples of living in gratitude such as how when she harvests anything, she first asks the plant for permission and then thanks the plant and the earth for it's gift, also leaving a little tobacco leaves as a gratitude gift. My experience of reading the book (besides completely enjoying it!) was some sadness that we European immigrants followed the ways of our ancestors in terms of earth and people care instead of the Native American way. Our lives would be constant expressions of thanks had the Europeans learned from the native Americans that first Thanksgiving and followed their ways. If you want to work on gratitude this month (or year) I recommend your read Braiding Sweetgrass. For me it has made me look at all nature and all society in a completely different way. You would learn a lot from this book but it will also bring tears to your eyes to see her world view. The best book I read this year.
Thank you, Diana, for reminding us it in all things, not for all things that we are to be thankful. Four years ago my son-in-law was killed, and my daughter and our families were devastated. There was no way, no how, not ever, would I be thankful for that devastation, but through it all we felt the arms of God holding us and sustaining us. I gave thanks to God for strength through that tragedy, because of that strength, we were able to "walk and not faint", (Isaiah 40:31). It is amazing how God has put us all back together today. I give thanks, I have hope, my faith is strengthened. Thank you!
For too many years, I agonized over giving thanks FOR......... I finally started to understand it is ok to say that some situations are. just. bad.- that is true. At the same time, perhaps God is good, even in bad situations, even though He doesn't stop every bad situation. Maybe that's the thing..... to recognize how God is good even in bad situations. Maybe.......
Difficult to be grateful, to rejoice, to give thanks in disturbing circumstances contradicting human possibility for peaceful coexistence. The abundance of steadfast love and mercy in divine economy creates the gratitude for which I am thankful and provides strength to live with the scarcity of human love in the circumstances of my culture, for which I am not thankful one bit. Gratitude is strengthened by community of solidarity, faith, caring connections, like The Cottage, like Diana, like followers, who share, listen, and encourage one another...for that reality, I am thankful!
Thank you for this. Great reminder... we know we are supposed to give thanks but sometimes it's too daunting. To be reminded that even in the worst of times thanksgiving has a proper place is super helpful. xo
My beloved would have cherished Magdalene-
A year on...with gratitude...she was my Magdalene blessing.
Thank you, so beautifully said. And that's not the main thing is it? It's what's going to produce life, which your words are doing. In all things, I will give thanks
In AA it's said that you can't be resentful and grateful at the same time...applies to angry & hateful as well... Thanks for the reminder. And I really appreciate the comment below me here from Ray...think I'll add that one on for future reference as well.
Thanks Diana and all for providing some guardrails on the current path.
Gratefull requires Grace requires equality requires non-violence requires community. Just an observation. Thank you.
Thank you. We are planning on reading Grateful during Advent in our church book study group. I have read and re-read this wonderful book several tines. I have both a Kindle version and the Audible version. My favorite is the Audible hands down!