Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fr. James's Sunday Homily

Gratitude Is The Rarest Of Virtues

Cicero, the famous Roman senator and orator once wrote, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others”. This Sunday’s gospel narrative reminds us that gratitude is a rare virtue indeed.

“And one of the them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him” (Luke 17: 15-16).

The virtue of gratitude is the ability to express our thankful appreciation in word or deed, to the person whose words or actions have benefitted us in some way. The truly humble and noble person will always be grateful for the benefits received. Ingratitude is an ugly sin.

How can the virtue of gratitude be acquired? Fundamentally, cultivating the spirit of gratitude requires us to develop humility. We need to understand that everything that we have and everything that we are is a gift. We might begin by taking out a pad of paper and a pen and making a list of all of the wonderful gifts that we receive each day of our entire life.

We could start with life. We have been given the gift of life. Consider the air that we breathe. We take such things as air, water and even good health all for granted. We need to consider our families, the houses that we live in, the food that we eat each day, our education, our jobs, and the fact that we live in a free country.

Once we consider the obvious gifts that we have received, we can go deeper... (Continued here.)

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