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

The Devotion

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 expression of thanks. Gratitude is a warm emotion and often experienced inwardly, expressed by few if any words. Gratitude is expressed with intention and presence.

November is a month of gratitude. We begin the month will All Saints Day and end the month with Thanksgiving. All Saints Day is historically a time to remember the saints who have gone before us and often we think about family or friends with gratitude for their life here on earth, thankful for God’s promise that they are now living in to in heaven. Celtic spirituality teaches that there are “thin places” here on earth, places where we feel our loved one’s 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 others before themselves, anyone who has risked 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, grateful but to live in gratitude. In faith we are grateful to God for who God is and for God’s promise of sainthood for all believers. Yoga philosophy teaches that an attitude of gratitude is yoga and to not live in gratitude is unyoga, nonunion of body, mind and spirit. It is a beautiful crossroad of yoga teaching and faith in God that affirms an attitude of gratitude for those whose shoulder’s we stand on as well as the saints all around us…that is truly what we call the communion of saints, God’s vision of a new heaven.

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