Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Being Truly Grateful

In reading Fr. Stephen's blog, Glory to God for All Things, God has generously given me more to think about with regards to gratitude and why it so easily disappears. We have been given abundance. Or, rather, *I* have been given abundance. God has given me people and things throughout my life and, as is common, I have taken them for granted.

Fr. Stephen quotes Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain as saying,
The destruction of man lies in the abundance of material goods, because it prevents him from experiencing the presence of God and appreciating His benevolence.
By way of illustration, Elder Paisios tells the following story:
I lived in a place that had no water. I had to walk for two hours to get to a rock where water was leaking from its side. I placed the jug underneath and waited about an hour until it was filled up. The limited amount of water created in my soul various feelings:
Every day I was in agony: “I wonder, will the water be dripping from the rock?” I prayed to God to continue to make it drip. As I was walking towards the rock, I was anxious to see whether I would find some water and I prayed. When I could detect from far away the water glittering as the sun beams were falling on the rock, I glorified God. On my way back, I constantly thanked and glorified Him for the water He gave me. So, the small amount of water impelled me first, to constantly pray to God to make the rock drip and secondly, to thank and glorify Him, as He is the giver of all good things.
Elder Paisios ends with this advice:
The same thing applies to everything. If we are found in a difficult situation, we must not be upset; instead we should realize this is God’s way to make us feel closer to Him and become aware that He is the grantor of everything in our lives.

Indeed, Glory to God for all things!

2 comments:

TACParent said...

Amazing story.

Dymphna said...

It's very inspiring, isn't it?

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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