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Giving thanks from the heart

flowerA couple of weeks ago I was at a family gathering — celebrating a first birthday party. The grandnieces and nephews were downstairs playing their video games and the rest of us were upstairs talking and sharing our own stories.

As the evening went on, I followed downstairs my little grandnephew Kyle, age 9 (the one we all have been praying for as he has been recovering from West Nile disease). I touched him on the head and said; “How are you feeling, Kyle?” His response: “Very well, thank you, how are you?”

His response caught me off guard. I didn’t expect that response from a 9-year-old. Yes, his mom and dad have trained him well, but there is always a thank you coming from him. Even when we went to visit him the day after he came home from the hospital, as tired and weak as he was, he said, “Thank you for coming to see me.”

The two words thank you are so simple! But if said from deep within our hearts they can open a field of compassion and gratitude to others. If said from deep within our hearts — the saying of thank you becomes real. When we are real, we are able to melt the frozen places in others and ourselves. It’s a gift of deep love and sincerity that we can pass on to a world that is losing its feelings for others. Yes, this is a ripple effect of Providence being shared with all.

small pumpkin gourdOur Saint of God, Mother Theodore Guerin, was true to herself and her God. She too came over from the other side of the ocean. Rough seas, sickness, and perhaps at times disillusioned, she never forgot to thank God for the gift of life and courage to keep her going. She always had enough “space — sacred space” within her heart to say thank you to her Christ, who was deep within her.

Yes, Thanksgiving is about family. A delicious dinner. Sharing laughter and good conversation. But it is also about thanking God for the blessings we have been given. For the good memories we hold onto within our hearts. For the lives we have been involved with. And for the blessings of family and friends.

If you are real and true to yourself, your thank you will be felt all over the world. Whether it is from a 9-year-old, who truly meant his thank you. Or Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, who knew what the trials of life were all about, the gift of gratitude can make a world of difference in a world that is filled with fear and chaos.

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Sister Diane Mason

Sister Diane Mason served as director of Providence Associates for the Sisters of Providence until 2017. Prior to that she ministered for 37 years as a teacher or principal at the elementary level. She currently lives and volunteers in Orland Park, Illinois.

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1 Comment

  1. Carol Nolan on November 27, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Beautiful, Diane! Thank you so much (no joke intended).
    There is so much to be grateful for.

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