The Path of Life

The Path of Life

Friday, January 6, 2012

Living in gratitude

"Do not grumble or speak ill of others.
Place your hope in God alone."

of St. Benedict, Ch. 4:39-41

Living in gratitude is not so easy. We don't always feel grateful or blessed, and we often complain. However Scripture (cf. 1Peter 5:6-7; Colossians 3:16-17) calls us to strive for the ideal of a grateful heart and trust in God.

St. Benedict's Rule exemplifies this ideal for us. He exhorts his followers to live in gratitude, and to refrain from grumbling. In his Rule, Benedict uses the Latin term for "murmuring" -- what we would call grumbling. He is adamant that grumbling is not to be tolerated, not only because it indicates a lack of gratitude and trust within the individual monk's heart, but because it can be so damaging to those around us.

At its root, chronic grumbling is a lack of faith in God's provident care; it is prideful frustration that seeps into our hearts when things don't go our way or we don't get what we want. It is a refusal to bow under the mighty hand of God, trusting that everything will work out, and that things are often better than acknowledged. St. Benedict urges us to live in gratitude each moment, if for nothing else than for the simple facts that we are God's children, created and chosen, redeemed by Christ, and promised eternal life.

If we truly consider those essentials, nothing else matters, and we can live in gratitude all our days.

Br. Francis

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