Original Blessings

Musings of Gratitude

My Thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite — only a sense of existence. Henry David Thoreau

“Where the Divine and the Human Meet” shows how important it is to meet the world with the creativity of an artist, particularly in these uncertain times:

“What do we do with chaos?

Creativity has an answer. We are told by those who have studied the processes of nature that creativity happens at the border between chaos and order. Chaos is a prelude to creativity. We need to learn, as every artist needs to learn, to live with chaos and indeed to dance with it as we listen to it and attempt some ordering. Artists wrestle with chaos, take it apart, deconstruct and reconstruct from it. Accept the challenge to convert chaos into some kind of order, respecting the timing of it all, not pushing beyond what is possible—combining holy patience with holy impatience–that is the role of the artist. It is each of our roles as we launch the twenty-first century because we are all called to be artists in our own way. We were all artists as children. We need to study the chaos around us in order to turn it into something beautiful. Something sustainable. Something that remains”.”
― Matthew Fox, Creativity

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. H. U. Westermayer

Thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths. At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings. J. Robert Moskin

Appreciation can change a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. Margaret Cousins

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips and shows itself in deeds. Theodore Roosevelt

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. Meister Eckhart

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves . Henry Ward Beecher

Matthew Fox quotes a Biblical theologian who wrote that “there are two basic ways by which the God of the Bible deals with humankind: by deliverance and by blessing… Blessing – much less original blessing—has not been preached or taught in Christian spirituality for centuries” (Original Blessing, M. Fox).

We enter a broken and torn and sinful world—that is for sure. But we do not enter as blotches on existence, as sinful creatures, we burst into the world as ‘original blessings.’ (Original Blessing, M. Fox)

“At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

About Dr. Ernie Sherretta, D. Min.

Retired Director of Religious Education for the Catholic Church since 2014, granted a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Charles Seminary, an M.A. in Religious Studies from St. Charles Seminary, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Immaculata University, and a Doctor of Ministry from the Lutheran Theological Seminary. Spiritual Well-Being Counselor
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