Moving from G to G


Once upon a time, it was pretty easy to sing an Aria that moved on the musical scale from the lower G to the upper G. Now, it is my pleasant memory! The G I’m talking about, is what sucks the air out of a room, “grumbling.” Human beings complain a lot, from the weather to politics and everything in between. It would be wonderful if we could move more readily to “gratitude.”

In the sixth grade in school, I clearly remember Sister Antoinette saying, “When the weather is wet, you must nor fret; When the weather is warm, you must not storm; When the weather is cold, you must not scold; but be thankful together whatever the weather.” What wisdom!

Grumbling creates a negative atmosphere, which somehow encourages others to be negative too.

It appears that grumbling seemed to be a way of life for the Israelites in the desert. They grumbled against Moses and Aaron saying, “Would that we had died at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread! But you had to lead us into this desert to make the whole community die of famine!” (Ex 16:3)

Re-reading Exodus 16, it is interesting to note that the author uses the term “children of Israel” seven times. These children probably grumbled due to hunger and fear. Undoubtedly theirs was a very long journey to the Promised Land. Out of compassion, God provided for them along the way. How quickly they forgot that God had rescued them from Pharoah, and parted the Red Sea for their escape.

Lest we judge them too quickly, many of us may be grumbling as we wander in our own wilderness.  However, we are blessed with the “manna” that comes to us in the form of the Eucharist at every Mass. Scripture tells us to, “Rejoice always, never cease praying, render constant thanks; such is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thes 5:16-18). This is difficult to do, but praying for God’s grace can get us to that place.

St. Paul reiterates, “In everything you do, act without grumbling or arguing;” (Phil. 2:14). We need a big dose of faith to raise us up, so that we can sing with the psalmist, “I lift up my eyes toward the mountains; when shall help come to me? My help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Ps. 121:1-2)

How do we develop a culture of gratitude? So much depends on our attitude. St. Therese of Liseux had the right attitude when dealing with a difficult situation. She said, “There is one sister in the community who has a knack of rubbing me the wrong way at every turn; her manner, her speech, her character just strikes me as unlovable. But then, she is a holy religious; God must love her dearly. I was not going to let this natural apathy get the better of me…I determined to treat this sister as if she were the person I loved best in the world. Every time I met her, I used to pray for her…When I felt tempted to take her down with an unkind retort, I would put on my best smile instead.”

“One day she asked me, ‘What is it about me that gets the right side of you. You always have a smile for me’…What really attracted me about her was Jesus hidden in the depths of her soul; Jesus makes the bitterest mouthful taste sweet. I could only say that the sight of her always made me smile with pleasure – naturally I did not explain that the pleasure was entirely spiritual.”

As we become more aware that life is a gift that we unwrap each day, our gratitude flows out to others. Awhile back, I had just finished singing “You are my sunshine” at a long-term care centre where I did the singalong. A woman in a wheelchair reached out to me as I walked by, and with a big smile on her face she said to me, “You are my sunshine.” Gratitude flooded my spirit, because in a residence where people are usually grumbling about something, someone was grateful for the little I did to lighten her day. She gave me a big gift that afternoon.

Henri Nouwen is so right when he says, “Gratitude flows from the recognition that who we are and what we have are gifts to be received and shared.”

A friend of mine who has suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis for 38 years, radiates a peace and joy that is God given. She smiles instead of complaining, and prays to God, “Give me the grace to be content in the state in which you have placed me…Lord, I want to stay in the depths of absolute trust in you.”

It was on a Good Friday a few years ago, when a soprano voice rang out in our hushed church, “They crucified my Lord, and he never said a mumblin word. Not a word, not a word, not a word…”

Narrating the passion of Our Lord, her song pierced my heart, and the truth came home to me as never before, my Lord and Savior had suffered and died for me. Quiet tears flowed down my cheeks, for I was gently being invited to move from G to G – grumbling to gratitude.

Viola Athaide, a student of Theology, is actively involved in parish life, leading Bible courses, the Prayer Group, and the Ministry with Maturing Adults.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 04:57h, 25 October Reply

    Thank you Viola!

  • rosa scarpino
    Posted at 11:13h, 25 October Reply

    Beautiful reflection, Thank you Viola for reminding us to be grateful at all times and for everything.
    May your words touch many hearts to gratitude. God bless you, Rosa.

  • Rita Coutinho
    Posted at 11:27h, 25 October Reply

    I once read somewhere that if we only said “Thank you God for all your blessings” no other prayer would be necessary. So very true!

    Thank you Viola for all your thought-provoking articles.


  • Rita Coutinho
    Posted at 11:30h, 25 October Reply

    I once read somewhere that if we only said “Thank you God for all your blessings” no other prayer would be necessary. So very true!

    Thank you Viola for all your thought-provoking articles.


  • Lorraine Majcen
    Posted at 11:35h, 25 October Reply

    So beautiful Viola! How much we need this reminder each day, to be grateful in whatever circumstance we are in.
    I know when I feel gratitude, it always lifts my spirit, and feeds my soul and God is pleased with my meagre but heartfelt attempt. Praise God!!

  • Christine Domingo
    Posted at 12:31h, 25 October Reply

    Viola, all I can say is: “Wow”! As always, another beautifully written reflection of your journey and the realization that moving “from G to G” could be most of what we need to equip ourselves in working through the many trials that come our way. With an attitude of gratitude comes a certain peace this is only His to give. I must remember the “G to G” quip! Thank you for sharing of your talent. ❤️

  • Barbara French
    Posted at 13:17h, 25 October Reply

    Your reflection is so personal and beautiful…lots of food for thought too!
    Thank you…

  • Linda R Rego
    Posted at 14:49h, 25 October Reply

    Thank you Viola. Another heart gifted message to ponder. Not long ago I remember being lector and proclaiming the reading from Exodus 16. It certainly challenged me to be grateful in all my earthly wonderings. I will try, I will try.

  • Heather deSouza
    Posted at 15:01h, 25 October Reply

    Great article Viola. You sure are anointed. Thank you.

  • Jacqui Hubbard
    Posted at 20:14h, 25 October Reply

    I am always deeply touched by your writing but this one strikes me as very personal. I confess doing more than a little grumbling and complaining.
    Lord Jesus, help me to concentrate more on my blessings, which are many. Amen

  • Teresa.correia
    Posted at 21:32h, 25 October Reply

    Thank you Viola, Very inspiring.
    God Bless

  • Sylvia Lee
    Posted at 21:49h, 25 October Reply

    Thank you Viola for your inspiring reminder ~~ I will try to move from grumbling to gratitude more often.

    God bless you.

  • Dee Sproule
    Posted at 09:21h, 26 October Reply

    Every time I see a reflection authored by you, Viola, I rejoice!
    I am grateful for your earthy wisdom, the joy which leaps from your words, and especially for your willingness to minister to all of us through your earnest writing. God bless you!

  • Howard Jean
    Posted at 09:28h, 26 October Reply

    Such a needed reminder and challenge to move from grumbling to gratitude.
    And expressed so well by you, Viola.
    Your creativity is awesome and your willingness to share the Good News
    Is a beautiful gift to all. Thank you so much. Jean and Paul

  • Celine
    Posted at 09:38h, 26 October Reply

    Beautifully written and well said and so very true Viola. Loved the quote what you learnt in grade 6.

  • Harriet
    Posted at 09:59h, 26 October Reply

    How true. G to G . Will try and practice it more.

  • Tonis Kilp
    Posted at 11:25h, 26 October Reply

    Good morning Viola, thank you so much for the lovely and inspirational article, it is so beautiful and timely, we all need to be thankful for all the gifts from God, every day, not a word, not a word, no more mumblin words, grumbling to gratitude. May God bless you and your loved ones, many blessings.

  • Mario Coutinho
    Posted at 16:31h, 26 October Reply

    Hi Viola,
    Those are exactly my sentiments, the only difference is I am unable to express them. Hopefully soon|
    In the meantime keep them coming maybe they will serve to inspire me.

  • Maria Chrysant Susanto
    Posted at 17:32h, 26 October Reply

    Hi Viola,
    your reflection reminds me that we must be thankful of what The Lord has given to us. Its not always easy but we have to trust that what the Lord will always take care of us.

  • Doreen Pinto
    Posted at 11:17h, 27 October Reply

    What a beautiful reminder from St. Therese about how we can with the right attitude change the negative attitudes of those Christ puts in our lives on a daily basis – all for the glory of The Father.
    Thanks Viola
    God Bless

  • Maria Lobo
    Posted at 13:06h, 27 October Reply

    Truly grateful Viola, for your soul-stirring, thought-provoking, Scripture-based reflection…composed so colourfully, and including references to your own day by day journey, as well…….from G to G!
    May our Good God continue to use you, and all His gifts within you, richly for His glory!

  • Andes Kwok
    Posted at 10:30h, 30 October Reply

    Even though I know no music, I now learn what is G to G, it encourages me to move and not stuck on to one note, getting no where and making no progress. Thank you for the insightful writing.

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