Sacred Sorrows introduces Jenna Kandas, our newest contributing writer. Jenna is a lover of dark roast coffee, hoppy IPAs, and all things theology related. When she is not wrangling her toddlers, Jenna has been known to read and reread The Privilege of Being a Woman by Alice von Hildebrand. Jenna holds a B.A. in Theological Studies from the University of Mary, and a M.A. in Theology with a concentration in Bioethics from Holy Apostles College & Seminary.
For me, gratitude seems to have an ever-evolving - dare I say, an ever deepening - definition, that changes as my season in life changes. I don't mean that I'm cherrypicking who/what I'm grateful for, just that the depth to which my heart is able to offer gratitude to God is ever expanding.
I think back to being a teenager and the superficial things (friends, going to the movies, etc) were all I could come up with on Thanksgiving day, but through the trials of life, our hearts undergo transformation and this melding and shaping gently forces a new perspective and a deeper appreciation of what truly matters in life. So, in honor of Thanksgiving, I have gathered some quotes that can be reflected on during this potentially difficult season, to help maintain a grateful heart. Pick one or pick all, and take a moment to reflect.
"Enter His gates with thanksgiving; and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!" - Psalm 100:4
"Gratitude is the memory of the heart." - St. Mary Euphrasia
"Remember the past with gratitude. Live the present with enthusiasm. Look forward to the future with confidence." - Pope St. John Paul II
"Get used to lifting your heart to God, in acts of thanksgiving, many times a day. Because he gives you this and that. Because you have been despised. Because you haven't what you need or because you have. Thank Him for everything, because everything is good." - St. Josemaria Escriva
"If souls are humble, they will be moved to give thanks." - St. Theresa of Avila
"The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness." - St. Gianna Beretta Molla
"Jesus does not demand great actions from us but simply surrender and gratitude." - St. Therese of Lisieux
"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." - G.K. Chesterton
"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." - Cicero
"Prayer is a cry of gratitude and love, in the midst of trial as well as in joy." - St. Therese of Lisieux
- A version of this post was originally posted to EpicPew on Nov. 22nd, 2019.