Many people have not woken up this morning. Many woke up with poor health. A lot more woke up to no food, clean water or shelter. Many countries are at this moment suffering the agonies of war. Even though we may not realize it, we have a lot to be thankful for today. God has blessed us by giving us life and health.
We are all off in the next few days on retreat at St. Beuno’s and Loyola Hall, which are Ignatian Spirituality Centres. The retreat gives us the chance to recollect ourselves and devote a bit more time to listening to God. I’m not sure about the others, but for me some of the time in the retreat will be spent thanking God for guiding me through the past two years.
The Examen is always a daily reminder to count my blessings. The first step of the Examen is being aware of all the gifts that God has given and is giving us each day. It has been observed that those who are the happiest are the ones that are the most thankful and have counted their blessings. Have you counted yours for the day?
After just finishing my 6-week placement at St. Joseph’s Hospice, I’m more thankful for life, health and strength. It’s easy to be depressed by simple problems in life as is the aim of a popular humorous YouTube video “first world problems” which shows people getting depressed over only having leftovers for dinner, scratching the screen of their iPad, and buying a Smartphone only weeks before a newer model is out. Being thankful before God allows us to see ourselves within the framework of the world and allows us to be content with what we have and who we are without being agitated.
As Desiderata says, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself”. Appreciating the beauty around, helps us to be more conscious of the great privilege bestowed on human beings. Looking at nature for example and contemplating the beauty of the world should encourage each of us to care for this planet. Who can look at a beautiful landscape or city then simply litter or cut it down for profit without a feeling of remorse? After looking at how the uniqueness of each person makes the world more beautiful, how then can we discriminate against people based on race, colour, gender, religion or social status?
So today, before we complain about the weather, cold food, leftovers, or missing our favourite TV show, let us spend at least minute being thankful for all the blessings God has given us.
Thank You Lord, for all the blessings you have given me today. Help me to be aware of them in my life.
“With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” (Desiderata).
The video below is of one of my favorite songs and it always helps to put things into perspective. Enjoy and see what a wonderful world it really is.
“What a Wonderful World” written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss. Recorded by Louis Armstrong.