Gratitude Day 8 // Gratitude for God's Mercy

Image by Cailin Valente

Image by Cailin Valente

 Psalm 136

Some of us have great lives, but some of us are struggling with hardships. I’m here to tell you that no matter how bad our lives are right now, God loves us as we are.

There tend to be two mentalities when it comes to God’s unconditional love. There are those who feel like God could never love them and that they don’t deserve God’s love.

Then there are those who keep on living lives of sin because God will love them no matter what or will say that “only God can judge.”
 

That’s not how God’s love and mercy works, sisters in Christ. His mercy is given to everyone: to his people, to those who fear him, to those who turn away from him, and to those who repent. God’s mercy is a great and wonderful gift. Don’t ever believe that you are undeserving of God’s love. We never deserve God’s love, but we should always accept it.

On the other end of the scale, we can’t take that wonderful gift that God has given us for granted. To think that we can do whatever we want because “only God can judge” is selfish.

Love isn’t doing whatever you want at the expense of the other person. Love, like gratitude, is an action that pulls us outside of ourselves and centers on others. To truly love God is to live for Him and not for ourselves. It’s not enough to say “Oh, I don’t do anything bad like killing people” and just live a life that revolves around lesser things. When you receive a gift, you don’t just toss it aside and take it for granted. You thank the person who gave you that gift.

Mercy works in a similar way. When we receive mercy, we show gratitude for it by being merciful to others and holding ourselves accountable as well. In other words, we think of God first, others second, and ourselves last (but not least). Love and mercy demand that we give as much as God did. Which means that we give ourselves completely and totally to Him.

It’s not gonna be easy to live a Christ-filled life, but as the Psalm repeats over and over again, God’s mercy and steadfast love endure forever. It’s also why the Church offers the Sacrament of Confession. Why do we need to go to Confession when we can confess our sins to God directly, you ask? Because we need to hear that we have been forgiven. And Jesus is with us in Confession. It’s also through Confession that we hold ourselves accountable. We take responsibility and God and the priest are there to listen and advise you. This video from the Sophia Institute explains the Sacrament in more detail.

Today, sisters, I challenge you that no matter how long it’s been, find time to go to Confession. Most churches offer Confessions on Saturdays, but you can also call up a trusted priest and make an appointment with him. During Lent and Advent, some churches have “Reconciliation services” where many priests come to hear Confessions. It’s gonna be scary, but ask the Holy Spirit for courage. Believe me when I say that when you go to Confession and express true sorrow for your sins, you’ll leave the Sacrament feeling so much gratitude for God’s neverending mercy.

Today’s featured song is “This is Amazing Grace” by Phil Wickham. I understand that to some of us “Amazing Grace” has become a bit of a cliche, but this song gives a fresh perspective on the idea behind the original song. I also feel like this song parallels today’s passage because it gives praise to God and His everlasting mercy.
 

Stay grateful, dearest sisters in Christ!

Study Questions

1.Pope Francis established that 2016 will be the Year of Mercy. Why do you think the Church needs to focus on mercy so much?

2.What are your perspectives on God’s mercy? What do you think Confession means to you?

3.What are some ways that you feel grateful for God’s mercy? How do you think you can show mercy towards others?