- Maria Greco
Gratitude is the Cure
"O my God, let me remember with gratitude and confess to Thee Thy mercies toward me."
St. Augustine of Hippo
"Gratitude and thanksgiving is the cure to depression and anxiety", was spoken by a priest at a Sunday homily. Pondering this statement opened my heart to understand the truth of these words. Our hearts were made for worship, praise and thanksgiving to God. At the end of each day, one can be overwhelmed at simply remembering the countless blessings bestowed in just 24 hours. It is unfortunately too easy to take for granted the gift of life, health, the everyday things that we enjoy and activities we engage in. However, it is only possible because God wills it. A part from God we cease to exist. By offering God the praise due His holy Name do our anxieties, depressions and jealousies dispel. Recollecting oneself to contemplate the mercies of God, can we experience deep peace within our hearts.
I'm guilty of comparing myself with others and allowing thoughts of jealousy to infect my mind. How wrong and unfair this is to the Lord Jesus, Who has done more for me than I could've ever even dared to imagine. However, this truth is for every person, that Jesus gives to each and all an overflowing measure of blessings and graces. Jealousy is poison, and the cure to this is praising God for all of His goodness. The life of Jesus Christ is cause for praise and thanksgiving. He has given Himself over to the most ignominious death for our sake, and offers His Most Sacred Heart to be consumed in the species of the Eucharistic Bread on the altar at every Holy Mass. Indeed, "it is truly right and just" that we give Him the homage and the praise that is His rightful due.
"God's love has all the characteristics of the love we idealize in our ardent dreams, for we all dream. Yes, we want to be loved with a deep, tender, consuming love. Half measures do not satisfy us... Now let me assure you of this: Jesus loves us more, infinitely more, than we desire, more than we dare to dream of."*
Everyone wants to be loved and admired, like all of the famous fairytales. Both men and women would go to extraordinary measures to win the affection of another. Unfortunately, many women try to "win" love by their appearance and suffer their person to endure unnecessary pains to appear "attractive". This does not attain to love, because love is God. I believe that there would be no more heartaches if people truly believed and understood how much they are loved... by God.
"Yet how difficult to convince souls that God so loves them. If they could be convinced, how many anxieties would be alleviated. We may go a step farther. God's love for us is not a sterile love, confined to Heaven; it is an active love, provident, watchful, solicitous; it is a love that does not forget us one moment, thats protects us unceasingly, that keeps arranging minutely all the events of our life from the most far-reaching to the most insignificant."*
Once we can grasp even a sense of the love of God, our hearts swell and cannot express the gratitude that fills it, and we realize that all of deepest yearnings are satisfied in the person of Jesus Christ. People want to be happy and at peace, yet how many people do not want to confess that Jesus is Lord. We live in a society that does not want to acknowledge it's God, as Pope St. Pius XII has said. Mankind want happiness and peace, but the name of Jesus is prohibited in secular institutions and His laws banned from nations. This is not right. We were made to serve God. Our hearts were made for worship, and only by offering God the praise that is His due, will our worries, depressions and jealousies be cured.
May we know that we are loved beyond all reckoning, that God is Our Father and that we have a place in the Heavens. May we thank God for His countless mercies and never allow ourselves to be sullied by the miseries that afflict us, but rather allow our souls to be cured by our gratitude to God.
"Open up the gates that a righteous nation may enter, one that keeps faith."
St. Augustine, pray for us.
Magnificat meditation: Servant of God Luis María Martínez