St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Living a Grateful Life

Hey, you!  Yes, I mean you.  Have you looked around today?  The trees look beautiful.  They open their branches like someone giving you a hug.  Look how deep the green is on their leaves.  Look at the flowers underneath the trees. The trees have so much shade, and you can rest under them. It's cooler here than anywhere else.  Look at the cracks on the sidewalks.  People call them weeds, but those plants are hardy.  They can grow out of the depths and stay strong even in drought. 

“This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118: 24

Can you find things for which you can be grateful?  Researchers have found that people who look for and find things for which they can be grateful live longer and happier lives.  They suffer less from the inevitable stress in life.  They suffer fewer physical symptoms when they are stressed.  They are more relaxed.

“Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1Thessalonians 17-18

We all know that life is not easy.  We find ourselves in situations which we cannot control.  Pain and suffering are guaranteed.  Something or some one  will cause you to hurt, deeply.  Yet, in every painful situation, whether the pain be physical or mental, there is always something for which you can be grateful, even if it's the thought that this horrible, terrible day is over and it's time for sleep.  (Right there were 2 things for which you can be grateful.).  Like Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind," who said, "Tomorrow is another day."  3 things. 

“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Matthew 6:34

It's easy to say, "Live gratefully every day," but the inevitable question is, "How do you live gratefully?  How do you put this life style into practice?" 

“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ  dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3: 14-17

One of the things to do is, and, I know, it's one more thing to add to your list, keep a gratitude journal so that when you fill up your journal, you can remind yourself how many things for which you can be grateful.  You don't have to write full sentences unless you want to do so.  Instead,  make a quick list at the end of the day.  Go to sleep with a smile on your face. 

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Knowing that it takes 6 weeks for a new habit to be formed or broken, if you forget to add to your gratitude journal, forgive yourself, and start again.  Change is a process.  You will find that, as you realize how much you have for which you can be grateful, you will change.  You will become more peaceful.  When you are more peaceful, you will be kinder and more loving to those whom you encounter in your journey through life.  In turn, others will be more peaceful, and change has started.   Life is a journey, a process, and you can affect to change simply by being you.

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble.”  Psalm 107: 1-2

Other things you can do to implement a lifestyle of gratefulness, is to remember to thank someone, even if it's for the small things they do.  Take someone a cup of coffee and say thank you.  I have begun to implement this practice.  Choose a day.  Send some one a thank you note, just because.  Thank the cashier who checks out your groceries.  Thank someone you love!  Thank God and never cease praying!

“Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.” Psalm 66:3

Begin your day with gratefulness.   When you awaken, thank God for 3 things and begin your day in joy.  God is good, and He is madly in love with you.  Thank Him for everything, because everything is a gift!

“You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
    you are my God, I will extol you.
 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 118: 28-29

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