Encountering God's Presence

“ I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day.”     Pope Francis: EVANGELII GAUDIUM

November's Focus: Encountering God's Presence through Gratitude

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” (Psalm 107:8-9)

“Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all Gods.” (Psalm 95:2-3)

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” Meister Eckhart

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one of them to say thank you?” William Arthur Ward

Ways to encounter God through Gratitude

Gratitude is a simple, but marvelous thing. An effortless “Thank You” can make someone feel appreciated and lift their spirits.  Gratitude can reduce stress and lift anxiety, improve sleep, improve patience and reduce aches and pains.  Below are a few ideas to becoming a more grateful person.

  • When you face a major challenge be grateful, for it is an opportunity to grow, to learn or get a get better at something.
  • Instead of getting angry at someone, show gratitude for them. This will help you diffuse the situation and be able to handle the situation with a calm, clear head.
  • Don’t spend time mulling over the things you don’t have, look at what you do have. You have a job, a roof over your head, food on your table, clothes on your back, and you and your family are healthy. These are all you actually need in this life.  The rest is superfluous.
  • Every night before bed spend a few minutes thinking of what happened during the day and write down all the things you are grateful for.

 First and foremost be grateful to God.

“O my God, let me remember with gratitude and confess to the mercies toward me.” St. Augustine

“Prayer is an aspiration of the heart. It is a simple glance directed to heaven.  It is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy.” St. Therese Lisieux

A simple prayer:

For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food,

For love and friends,

For everything Thy Goodness sends.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Resources and practical suggestions for Encountering God through Gratitude

Develop an attitude of gratitude:

  • Have a Gratitude Journal: Every night spend time writing down all the “gifts” of the day. Refer back to this when you do not feel as grateful
  • At the dinner table, go around the table and have everyone say one thing that you are grateful for.
  • Spend some time in meditation, asking yourself who you are thankful for? Imagine your life surrounded by blessings.
  • Express your gratitude. Write someone a note expressing your gratitude for something they did for you.
  • Books
  • Attitudes of Gratitude - M.J. Ryan
  • The Gratitude Diaries - Janice Kaplan
  • The Power of Gratitude - Amy Newark & Deborah Norville
  • One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are- Ann Voskamp
Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presence through Prayer
Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presence through the Mass
Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presence through Service
Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presence through Forgiveness
Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presence through New Life/Renewal
Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presence through Scripture
Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presence through Ordinary Things
Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presence through Creation
Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presences through Acts of Kindness
Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presence through Art and Music
Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presence through Spiritual Writers