I’ve struggled with being happy with what I have for a long time. There are days that I don’t feel grateful for anything at all in spite of the fact that I have a lot of blessings in my life. If you’re anything like me, you tend to take the things in your life for granted and don’t see the things in your life as anything special.
How exactly do we start being grateful?
It starts with God and realizing that everything that we have comes from Him.
In the beginning, God created everything. And he continues to create the things in life that we need: the food that we eat, the water that we drink. He created people who make the clothes that we wear, the people who built the places where we live, and the things in creation that we find beautiful. Everything that we deem to be beautiful in this world is a reflection of the Creator.
God’s beauty can be found everywhere in creation: in the depths of the ocean, in the highest mountains, in the vast deserts, and the deep forests. But God’s beauty can be found in other places as well: in the eyes of the poorest of the poor, in the face of someone you’re having an argument with, and in the things that you may not always like. It’s not always easy to see the beauty in everything and everyone, but it’s there and these things are all reflections of God.
We live in a beautiful world, even with the mosquitoes and roaches. In spite of how we may see the world right now, we need to remember that God looked at His creation and saw that it was good.
As Pope Francis said in his encyclical
“The creation accounts in the book of Genesis contain, in their own symbolic and narrative language, profound teachings about human existence and its historical reality. They suggest that human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbor and with the earth itself. According to the Bible, these three vital relationships have been broken, both outwardly and within us. (Paragraph 66)”
Pope Francis’s encyclical was inspired by Saint Francis’s “Canticle of the Sun,” but there were also echoes of Psalm 148 as well.
Read the Psalm alongside the Canticle and see for yourself:
Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord, All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.
Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather's moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.
Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.
Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,
who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon for love of You and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace, By You Most High, they will be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm. Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
And serve Him with great humility.
I created a Spotify playlist that will act as a companion to this study. Today’s featured song from the Gratitude playlist is “The Earth is Yours” by Michael Gungor. Like Laudato Si, the song echoes the Psalm I shared with you today.
May you sing the Lord’s praises alongside His creation today, dearest sisters in Christ!
Where do you think gratitude begins?
Do you think there’s a connection between ourselves and the environment aside from the fact that we are both God’s creations?
What are the similarities you see between the Psalm and St. Francis’s Canticle?