Lenten Nourishment: Gratitude
I intended to present reflections on gratitude and thanksgiving; however, as I reflected on that I drifted to grace before meals, a lovely tradition of offering thanks. That led me to the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5: 3-10)
Wednesday: Say, Thank you.
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you,’ it will be enough.” Meister Eckhard
Some might say, that sets the bar way too low; that our goal is to pray constantly, to have an ongoing conversation with the Divine. I’d say, that on those days when all you can muster is “Thanks,” that will do.
Thursday: Mealtime grace
“Saying grace is an ancient and vital tradition the world over: to begin with it provides a space, a moment of stillness… to allow the mind to settle… then as we acknowledge the source of our nourishment, we are filled… gratitude.” Toinette Lippe, One Hundred Graces
Grace at meals is the loveliest tradition, encouraging quiet to open myself to the Divine and acknowledging the nourishment from God.
Friday: A simple grace
“Beloved Lord, we greatly thank you for the abundance that is ours.”One Hundred Graces
It’s a simple, sweet and shows the essence of gratitude.
Saturday: “My name is, ‘I am.’”
“I was regretting the past and fearing the future. Suddenly God was speaking, “My name is ‘I am.’” I waited. God continued, “When you live I the past, with its mistakes and regrets, it is hard. I am not there. My name is not ‘I was.’ When you live in the future, with its problems and fears, it is hard. I am not there. My name is not ‘I will be.’ When you live in the moment, it is not hard. I am here. My name is ‘I am.’ One Hundred Graces
It is a challenge to live in this moment to be present. But God is here in the moment.
Sunday: St. Francis tells the way.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon,
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is darkness, light,
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand: to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
This short pray seems to me the outline of how to be a good Christian (or a good Jew, a good Muslim, a good Hindu, maybe even a good pagan). Make me an instrument of compassion in all that I do.
Monday: Humility allows space for God
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Poor in spirit,” beggars for the spirit… we are humble. I understand that all my talents and gifts come from God. Thank you, my sweet Lord.
Tuesday: My favorite Beatitude
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
This is why I am drawn to the Friends Meeting. Peace starts with me. First I must settle any differences within myself. Make peace with my evil twin who can cause such havoc. Ah, but the reward! To be a child of God, to be brother or sister to Christ.