Gratitude is personal. Here is an example. If a person needs to take a taxi to the doctor’s office, he simply does so. However, if this person were to receive a ride to the doctor’s office by a neighbor or friend, then this person would most likely feel a sense of gratitude. He/she would express gratitude by saying thank you for the kindness expressed. Therefore, for gratitude to exist, two human beings must be involved; one that gives, without expecting anything in return, and one that receives. “… gratitude is the expression of a personal encounter in human need .” 1 For the giver, an act of kindness, or the striving to meet another’s need, must be voluntary. No sense of quid-pro-quo should exist. Besides being personal and voluntary, Father Romano Guardini offers a third condition for gratitude in Learning the Virtues That Lead You to God : Read more...
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© Design Pics/Getty Images When societal structures designed to protect the innocent come crashing down, we need prophets. We need messengers who remind us that, despite all desperate appearances, God has a plan of goodness in mind for us, to give us "a future of hope" (Jeremiah 29:11). Parents can be the prophets their children need. We point them to truth, unity, goodness, and beauty; we lead them to God. We teach them how to pray, so they can develop their very own relationship with the infinite God who created them out of love. We need strength for all this prophet-work. We will find it in God, and in each other. We will find it in scripture, and in a particular way in church. It was at church on Sunday, in fact, that Reverend Sykes' words popped into my head unexpectedly Read the whole enchilada at Praying with Grace !