28th Sunday Ordinary Time
October 13, 2019
Ten lepers were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has no one returned to give thanks except this foreigner?
Learning to be a thankful person, a person who praises God in all circumstances takes practice; it is a habit, just as complaining is also a habit. This is something I personally have to keep working on, so I keep quite a few reminders about praise and thanksgiving that I have heard or read over the years. Here are a few of them.
Praising God every morning. How we start the day is a critical component of a fruitful spiritual life. What do you say when the alarm goes off? “Oh no, not again?!” A famous speaker once said he begins each day with "Praise you God the Father! Praise you God the Son! Praise you God the Holy Spirit."
We can develop a lifestyle of thanksgiving. Saint Francis of Assisi is quoted as having said, “My best defense against all the plots of the enemy is still the spirit of joy. The devil is never so happy as when he has succeeded in robbing one of God’s servants of the joy of his or her soul. Therefore, at the first sign of trouble, the servant of God must get up, begin to pray, and remain before the Father until the latter has caused him or her to retrieve the joy of a person who is saved!”
What comes out of you when you are squeezed is what is really inside of you! The Holy Spirit wants to transform the negative things we find inside of us into areas of our lives that give glory to God, and one of the best ways to do this is through praise and thanksgiving in difficult circumstances.
Sometimes giving praise and thanksgiving to God is a real sacrifice. This is because we don’t always feel like doing it! The word “Eucharist” means “Thanksgiving.” So the Sacrifice of the Mass is really a “Sacrifice of Thanksgiving.” When I am able to thank God in my most difficult moments, in darkness, and in trials, I have truly made a sacrifice to God that is similar to the Eucharist itself, and this is very pleasing to God.