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. […]

Grateful for Anything—Except Dirty Looks

Driving home from work, I regularly see panhandlers standing at the freeway off-ramp. I hesitate to find Christ in them or give them money. For one thing, it’s a dangerous place to stand. I’m suspicious about how my money will be spent. It could be a scam. Plus I do plenty of other charitable works. Most days it’s someone different. But there’s one “regular,” a young man with varying cardboard signs. Guilt used to fill […]

How to Beat the Fear of Failure

Choose to do what you consider important to do. Do that important thing, and keep doing it. Don’t give up on what is important. Look at the gifts you have been given—name them. Accept those gifts and practice gratitude for them. Learn to cherish the life you are given. Believe what is good and kind and truthful and lovely. Find ways to pass along whatever is good and kind and truthful and lovely. Dare to […]

Grateful for Community

Last week, I spoke with a women’s group that meets in a church basement not far from where I live. I enjoy this group—they represent various ages and ethnicities. They’re good listeners. And they love to laugh. I spoke on times when feeling truly thankful to God for blessings received is a challenge. I knew that a few of these women, gathered on folding chairs in this brightly-lit basement on a Tuesday morning, were not […]

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 […]

What Gifts We Notice in the Examen

How does a person develop a thankful heart? It starts with having an attitude of gratitude. The Examen is a powerful prayer tool to help us cultivate a stance of grateful living. All five steps of the Examen are rooted in principles of gratitude. Asking the Spirit for help in seeing our day: The Spirit calls us to action, moving in us and through us. The Spirit works in and through others and helps us […]

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