Ignatian Gratitude: Encounter and Response

With rapt attention, I watched the rescue of the boys’ soccer team in Thailand. The boys were stranded by rising waters in a cave. People from all over the world came together in treacherous conditions to pull the boys back from the brink of death into the light of day. When all of the boys finally emerged safely, it seemed the whole world breathed a sigh of relief. Joyful prayers of gratitude arose from around […]

On Gratitude

Driving home recently, I couldn’t help but notice that God seemed intent on slowing me down—behind a bus first, then a delivery truck; then a traffic light turned red just as I approached. Far from a waste of time, delays like this signal that God is trying to get my attention. I smile interiorly, grateful for the chance to ponder God’s presence in the brief moments of stillness the detainment affords. Every tree and flower, […]

Gratitude and Solidarity

Last week I was in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) to learn about the damage wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. These two category 5 storms devastated the islands, leaving them entirely denuded of foliage and causing massive structural damage to buildings and infrastructure. Yet in light of the disasters that affected Texas, Puerto Rico, California, and Mexico—to name only those in our hemisphere—many have forgotten the USVI, and some are feeling abandoned. I was […]

The Gratitude List

A friend of mine was stuck in traffic in New York City late on a summer Friday afternoon. He was really stuck—sitting in his car on a narrow east-west cross street in Manhattan, going nowhere. He grew impatient, then angry. After a while, he started to think about how pitiful his life was. His friends were smarter, wealthier, happier than he was. He hadn’t accomplished anything significant. He was stuck in life, just as he was stuck in traffic. […]

A Week of Gratitude: Grateful for Less

Editor’s note: This week we celebrate a pre-Thanksgiving Week of Gratitude, with Loyola Press authors sharing reflections on gratitude each day. I’m grateful for less, however little of less I’ve achieved. After years of contemplative prayer, I can’t tell if I’ve made any “progress.” I notice, however, that I’m saying a bit less these days, especially when I’m tempted to impress someone with a witty remark, light teasing, or something else that might be seen […]

A Week of Gratitude: Space

Editor’s note: This week we celebrate a pre-Thanksgiving Week of Gratitude, with Loyola Press authors sharing reflections on gratitude each day. I am currently writing this post from the last seat on an airplane. It is a middle seat, does not recline, and the chair in front of me seems to relish in its ability to recline just a bit more than the others. I am traveling with my wife to my right and my […]

A Week of Gratitude: Health Care

Editor’s note: This week we celebrate a pre-Thanksgiving Week of Gratitude, with Loyola Press authors sharing reflections on gratitude each day. I’m laboriously prepping for a medical procedure. After yet another form asking me for my mailing address, I get a bit grumpy. Why can’t they just look at one of the other 8,000 places I wrote it down? And then—out of nowhere—I remember the Ireng River. Months ago, my work led me to Karasabai, a […]

A Week of Gratitude: Three Things I’m Thankful for

Editor’s note: This week we celebrate a pre-Thanksgiving Week of Gratitude, with Loyola Press authors sharing reflections on gratitude each day. Kerry originally shared this reflection on the People for Others blog in 2014. For midnight conversations with my siblings, long after we should have gone to bed; for friends who know and nod; for the lady on the subway who lends an ear; for coworkers who look up from their computers when I have […]

A Week of Gratitude: Imagination

Editor’s note: This week we celebrate a pre-Thanksgiving Week of Gratitude, with Loyola Press authors sharing reflections on gratitude each day. My two young sons pretend their bunk bed is a spaceship and they climb aboard, ready to blast off. On another day, a line of dining room chairs becomes a train, headed for adventure. I’m fixing dinner when my older son walks sideways through the kitchen, opening and closing his hands like castanets. “I’m […]

Why Gratitude?

Yes, here’s another article on gratitude—not because we can’t think of other topics but because we naturally cycle around to this one again and again. Gratitude is not a fad, not the latest trend on the World Wide Web. Gratitude is foundational to the life that so many people desire: a life that is well-lived, joyful, and connected to others and to God in good, healthy ways. I wouldn’t even call gratitude an attitude. It’s […]

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