Grateful Hearts

By Shelby Hawks

I’m not sure about you, but I know that most days, I wake up to the irritating sound of my alarm and proceed to get ready for the day without ever turning my gaze heavenward to thank the One who so graciously gifted me with another day, another breath. I often embody the nine lepers who failed to thank their Healer instead of the one who returned to give thanks (Lk 17:11-19). And yet this is such a paradox, because the only reason I am awake, alive, and breathing is because He has graciously allowed me to arise and serve Him. It is precisely this: the fact that I am awake, alive, and breathing that should not only lead me to fall to my knees in utter gratitude, but that should lead me to fill my lungs, mind, and heart with abundant praises for the King who is worthy of all glory, honor, and blessing.

In Confession recently, the priest encouraged me to write a litany of gratitude to my Father. As I began to do so, I was moved in the very depths of my heart by the abundance of things in my life that I am immensely grateful for. Brothers and sisters, when we offer a moment of our day to thank Abba for the wonder and glory He has bestowed upon us, when we praise Him for the gift of our being and adore Him for His love, faithfulness, and merciful Heart, when we recognize His movements and His providence in our lives, we are pulled out of our little human minds and into the mind of the Almighty. We are gifted with the opportunity to see all He has given and are able to live with grateful hearts.

We owe all to Him. Let us begin to praise and thank Him for the generosity He has poured out on us through the Precious Blood of His Son. I would encourage you to write your own litany of gratitude to thank the Father and to begin to see His Hand in your life. For now, I have shared mine below as a way to begin praising the Lord for His Merciful, Generous Love.

May we all begin to be living vessels of praise and gratitude for the One who is worthy of it. And in doing so, may we become like the one leper who returned to give thanks to his Healer.

A Litany of Gratitude
For the breath in my lungs, Father, I thank you.
For the heart that beats within me, Father, I thank you.
For the newness of this day, Father, I thank you.
For the clothes on my back, Father, I thank you.For the roof above my head, Father, I thank you.
For the friendships that lead me to You, Father, I thank you.
For the conversations that reveal Your love for me, Father, I thank you.
For the way You always see, know, and love me, Father, I thank you.
For the grace of communion with You, Father, I thank you.
For the joy that I have because of the Cross, Father, I thank you.
For the healing You have done in me, Father, I thank you.
For the grave You have rescued me from, Father, I thank you.
For the gift of Resurrection, Father, I thank you.
For the hope of life with You, Father, I thank you.
For the Sacraments that bring You to me in intimacy, Father, I thank you.
For the mercy You abundantly pour out, Father, I thank you.
For your steadfast faithfulness, Father, I thank you.
For the gift of Your Word, Father, I thank you.
For the sufferings I endure, Father, I thank you.
For the gift of Your Son’s Mother who bears them with me, Father, I thank you.
For the saints who show me how to love You, Father, I thank you.
For the way You speak to me, Father, I thank you.
For the plans You have for me, both known and unknown, Father, I thank you.
For the faith You have given me and daily strengthen in me, Father, I thank you.
For every moment You are with me, Father, I thank you.
For sustaining me with this breath, Father, I thank you.
I praise You, Father.
I love You, Father.
I thank You, Father.
Amen.

P.S.  Here are two songs (if you’re interested) that have helped me to foster gratitude: “You and You Alone” by UPPERROOM & “Thank You Song” by UPPERROOM.

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