In our modern world, we have become accustomed to having everything we want on demand. So many people have all the latest gadgets that come on the market and yet, dissatisfaction is a common occurrence. To develop a 'gratitude attitude' is a wonderful antidote to this. We have been given so much and have so much to be grateful for. Most of what we take for granted (our health, our families, our talents and creation itself) is a free gift of God. We just need to think more about this and acknowledge it with gratitude. As St. Paul says to us, "Learn
to be grateful" (Col 3:15). It is not difficult to work on this, however, it does require a change in our outlook. To decide to be grateful, is to look at the positive and helps to dispel the negativity within us. We will find too, as we go on, that as we see all the gifts that have been given to us and begin to notice how the Lord has been looking after us all along, we become more hopeful. This is an antidote to the despair which is so prevalent nowadays.
St. Francis epitomizes this way of looking at things. At one of the bleakest times in his life, when he was wracked by pain and almost blind, he wrote "The Canticle of Brother Sun". At the time, he was in darkness and could not bear the sunlight as it caused so much pain to his eyes, yet, instead of turning in on himself, he recognised all that he had been given was a gift from God, and so he burst out in praise. Thus was composed what has become one of the most beloved prayers of all time. St. Clare too, on her deathbed, looked back in gratitude for all that the Lord had achieved in her life, and she could say "Thank you Lord for having created me". This type of prayer is often found in the Scriptures, particularly in the psalms. For instance, in Psalm 138(139) we find the verse "I thank you for the wonder of my being"