An Attitude of Gratitude

t may seem strange to consider gratitude at this time because of the serious problems swirling around us: the Covid-19 virus pandemic and its protocols of social distancing, wearing of masks, and frequent hand washing; demonstrations against the racist practices of some in law enforcement; and the high unemployment rate that has ravaged the economy, to name a few.

Trying to decide what you are thankful for can be a challenge but it can also help you come out of whatever emotional or spiritual darkness you have been in, into a place of hope.

Professor of Psychology and author, Sonja Lyubomirsky, elaborates: “Expressing gratitude for the people or things in our lives can help us feel more connected and inspired to help others. It can also lift you out of whatever sent you into a spiral. It takes attention off you and directs it onto someone or something else.”

According to the Dictionary, gratitude is the quality of being thankful and appreciative. When you feel gratitude you’re pleased by what someone did for you. These can be small acts of kindness or bigger ones.

There are many passages in the Bible that speak of giving thanks to the greatest Giver of all. Psalm 9:1-3 is one such meaningful prayer of thanksgiving:

“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,

with all my heart;

I will declare all your wondrous deeds.

I will be glad and exult in you.”

What are you thankful for?  When is it difficult to feel gratitude?

What people – family, friends, colleagues, mentors – are you especially grateful for?

Writer Andrew Fiala shares some good ideas on being grateful for blessings: Gratitude lubricates social relations. To say thanks is to express gladness.  Gratitude is sincere and heartfelt gladness. It is humble, hopeful, and happy….Creative energy flows from gratitude. The eyes of gratitude are welcoming. The arms of the grateful are ready to build and embrace (The Fresno Bee Newspaper, November 26, 2019).

Gratitude can be enhanced in some very practical ways:

By keeping a journal in which you write down the blessings you have received.

Reciting a biblical passage like the one above on a daily basis. See also Psalms 34:1-3

66:1-5; and 89:2-5.

Composing a poem or song of your own to express your gratitude.

Max Oliva, SJ worked in Las Vegas for six years. The only Jesuit in the state of Nevada, his main ministry was called “Ethics In The Marketplace.” Now in Spokane, he has a continued involvement in Las Vegas, albeit on a part-time basis. His web site is found here -

  • Vicky Chen
    Posted at 04:37h, 07 August Reply

    When I wake up very early in the morning, feeling that I have not rested, I am grateful that I am still alive.

    Throughout the day, I may feel frustrated with the heat, the noise, forgetting where I left my glasses, eating the same left over food for days….. Well yes, I know I have kept most of my senses.

    Just have to remember to pause and thank God that I am still alive …… with the desire to be fully alive for this often crazy world.

  • EstherGrace Gilbert
    Posted at 07:51h, 07 August Reply

    Thank you

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 11:07h, 07 August Reply

    Thank you very much Max!

  • Margaret Powell
    Posted at 12:54h, 07 August Reply

    Just celebrated my 80th birthday. There have been major challenges as well as amazing blessings. I am most grateful for my catholic faith that sustained me through it all.

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