Scripture ~ “Give thanks with a grateful heart.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Spiritual Focus ~ “The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.” Robert Holden
Breath Prayer ~ I am grateful
Thankfulness is a prelude to gratitude. Being thankful, giving thanks is usually an outward expression or response to having received something. Gratitude is a deep emotion of the heart, that goes beyond an outward expression of thanks. Gratitude is a warm emotion and often experienced inwardly, expressed by few if any words.
November is a month of gratitude. We begin the month with All Saints Day and end the month with Thanksgiving. We often think about family or friends with gratitude for their life here on earth, thankful for God’s promise that they are now living into into in God’s Presence. Celtic spirituality teaches that there are “thin places” here on earth, places where we feel our loved ones presence, where the veil between heaven and earth is so thin we can reach out and touch them. A grateful heart is one of those “thin places.”
Focusing on the word ALL however gives us pause to wonder if our gratitude extends beyond the saints we know. Gratitude for the saints who have given of themselves so that we have a better life. The scientists that have found cures for diseases, leaders who have placed other’s before themselves, anyone who has risked personal safety to further the good of the whole…these are everyday saints. Dorothy Day and Harriet Tubman, for example, were average women who saw a need and acted….we are grateful for their action.
Faith and yoga practices call us to not just be thankful or grateful, but to live in gratitude. In faith we are grateful to God for who God is and for God’s promise, yoga philosophy teaches that an attitude of gratitude is yoga and to not live in gratitude is unyoga, nonunion of body,
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Artwork by Emily Ender Fiamova