Latest Thoughts

Recent Blogs

Thankfulness

“The signs of God’s grace surround us and lie within us. But we have our own idols that blind us to all the signs that witness to the steadfast love of God. God is good. Yet the troubles of this world, the suffering of illness and grief, the attractions of this age, the temptations of greed, jealousy, and avarice, and the press of daily affairs conspire to hide the goodness of God from us. And in times of distress, we might even blame the Almighty and All-Merciful for our troubles. The remedy for this spirit of ingratitude is the healing of our spiritual sight so that we see the indications of God’s mercy wherever we look. Thus, we should pray for the gift of gratitude, the ability to perceive in all things, and all that happens the never-failing mercy of God…gratitude is a way of knowing God.” (Fr. Basil)


“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love; every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude, therefore, takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” (Thomas Merton)


“Thanksgiving to God raises us mortals out of the corruption of mortality, releases us from that which we must all at some time be released, whether we will or no, and binds us to God the living and immortal; if we are not bound to Him in this life, then we shall never be in his presence in eternity. Thanksgiving ennobles the thankful and nourishes good works. Thanksgiving inspires benevolence in the world, and gives freshness to every virtue.” (St. Nikolai Velimirovic)


“Consider that however much something is painful to you, by so much will it be more fruitful, if you bear it with thankfulness. This is true not only for wounds of the body, but also for wounds of the soul, which procure crowns which cannot be described when those who are so afflicted bear it with thanksgiving; for distress of the soul is greater than that of the body…when sufferings are received with thanksgiving, we grow in this life and store up rewards in the next.” (Robin Phillips)


“Perhaps gratitude is the most basic religious impulse of all in giving thanks even for existence itself, for the astonishing reality that there is something rather than nothing. It should not be surprising, then, that the root meaning of the word “Eucharist” is precisely “thanksgiving.” No doubt, the more that we grow in our awareness that we did not create ourselves and cannot bring healing to our souls or the maladies of others by our own power, much less conquer the abyss of the grave, the more inclined we will be to offer ourselves, our children, and all the blessings of this life for fulfillment according to God’s gracious purposes.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


“…when we are constantly giving thanks, for both small and big things, even for the things and experiences that challenge us, then God feels very near. When we are thanking God for our daily blessings, for food, for shelter, for a warm coat on a cold day, for the basic health and intelligence of our children, then we remember that it is a gift and that it could be very different. That I have a job in a stable economy is a gift, it is guaranteed to no one. That I have a roof over my head is a gift, many do not. That my children have a chance to lead a healthy life, making mistakes for sure, but also learning from them, this is a gift from God, not guaranteed; for many parents struggle with beloved children who are not healthy in both mind and body.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)


“We must name and give thanks for our blessings each day as we offer them and ourselves to the Lord for the fulfillment of His purposes for us, our neighbors, and our world. The more we fill our minds with thanksgiving, the less room there will be for the distractions of dark thoughts that serve only to fuel our passions. That is how we will gain the spiritual clarity to see that the Lord Who has conquered death is always with us and will never abandon us. How, then, can we not give thanks?” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


“The giving of thanks is not a moral activity: like communion, it is a mode of existence. There is no Christianity that does not include the giving of alms. Sharing belongs to the ontology of the faith….I think that it is only in giving thanks always and for all things that we are able to pull back the veil and enter into the fiery mystery of God-in-the-world. This action is often taken quickly, in order to survive the difficulties of a day. There are some brave and holy souls who linger over the Cup long enough to drink a proper draft. It is done in order to get past the things for which we give thanks and to find the Giver Himself.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“To be thankful (from the Greek eucharistia or thanksgiving) is a profound biblical reality and practice:  “O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good….” This is just as dominant a theme in the New Testament as in the Old:  “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth….”  This brings to mind just how thoroughly we stress the role of thanksgiving in our lives as Christians…Created according to the image and likeness of God, we receive our lives and all that is in the world around us as a gift from our Creator. We are not self-sufficient beings, but dependent upon God for all things. We are fully human when we are eucharistic, when we offer thanksgiving to God in a spirit of humility and gratitude. Thus, it belongs to our deepest human nature—our very interior structure—to be eucharistic.” (Fr. Stephen Kostoff)


“The chief purpose of life, for any one of us is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks.”  (J.R.R. Tolkien)


“Every time we truly see and are thankful for the goodness of God in our lives, it changes us…Thanksgiving naturally creates the desire to give back—to share and multiply the goodness of God…being grateful to God is fundamental to being human.” (Kevin Scherer)

“Gratitude is closely linked to optimism. The grateful person sees goodness and God in even the smallest of blessings.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“By giving praise and thanks to God, our hearts are illumined…Praise and thanksgiving should be our God-given norm and our constant in life.” (Dynamis 10/24/2018)

“Everyone must bear with gratitude what comes to him in the course of events. The more a person descends into humility, the more progress he makes and the more he succeeds.” (St. Ignatius Brianchaninov)

“Every day should be one of giving thanks, not just Thanksgiving. It’s good to have the holiday to remind us of the importance of giving thanks, and to set aside a day devoted solely to giving thanks to God. But daily thankfulness really should be the norm in our life not the exception.” (Sacramental Living Ministries) “

In the heart that always shows gratitude, grace abides." (St. Isaac the Syrian) "

Every moment is the moment to turn to the Lord, to thank the Lord for all His innumerable benefits, to beseech aid from on high, to repent and ask for forgiveness, and to ask His blessing." (Archimandrite Sergius)

“A thankful heart, however, is the real proof that we see God in every reality of our lives—the good and the bad.” (Kevin Scherer)

“There are times in every life when we are disappointed with one another, and even times we get disappointed with God. This is where gratitude comes in—the grateful person sees opportunity and sees God in everything, even when things don’t go as we wished or planned for them to go.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“Give sincere thanks to God for everything, believing that everything which proceeds from the Lord is sent by Him for the good of our souls. Thank Him for sorrows and for consolations.” (St. Theophan the Recluse)

“We really cannot hear the meaning of “grace” in English. In the Greek it carries the meaning of “gift” (it’s the same word). Gifts are never given with an expectation of return – they are gracious and free. But they are only rightly received with thanksgiving. This is true of the life of grace in the believer.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“The grounding of the Christian life is thanksgiving. If you cannot fast with thanksgiving, your fast will be of little use. The same extends to all Christian practices and commandments. The essential work of the Christian life is grateful thanksgiving…Thanksgiving is the foundation of the Christian life. When this is understood and in place, other things can be properly understood.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Anyone capable of giving thanks is capable of salvation.” (Fr. Alexander Schmemann)

“Our part is to give thanks day and night for God's mercy and truth..." (Orthodox Study Bible, Psalms 91:1)

“Every genuine confession humbles the soul. When it takes the form of thanksgiving, it teaches the soul that it has been delivered by the grace of God.” (St. Maximos the Confessor)

“There is nothing that brings about satisfaction like being grateful for our lives, for the lives of those around us, for the things in our lives, and for the love God has for us. Remember, it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“Thank God every day with your whole heart for having given to you life according to His image and likeness…” (St. John of Krondstat)

“When thanksgiving becomes an integral part of your life, you will find that your attitude toward life will change. You will become more positive, gracious, loving and humble.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 92:1,2)

"It is important to keep on giving thanks. Otherwise, as one continues to pray for the others who have not yet been relieved, one simply fails to notice how many of one’s intercessory prayers have been granted—never notices how the list of Thank-you’s grows and perhaps outstrips the list of mere Please’s.” ( C.S. Lewis)

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” (Cicero)

“Nothing is so acceptable to God as our thankfulness for His grace, both to us and to others.” (Orthodox Study Bible 1 Corinthians 1:4)

“In the Church we often use the terms Holy Communion and the Eucharist interchangeably. The formal term for the Sacrament is the Eucharist. It comes from the Greek word that means thanksgiving.” (Sacramental Living)

“A sign that we are growing in Christ’s love is an increasing appreciation and thankfulness in our hearts for all that we have been given by God, despite any trials we may be facing. When we have moments when we really feel this in our hearts, we are shifting our thought and focus from ourselves to something outside of ourselves – God.” (Sacramental Living)

“…nothing is more acceptable to God as our thankfulness for His grace. He knows that when we are thankful we are open to understanding and receiving His love and reflecting it to others. His love of course is always present but having a thankful heart enables us to perceive this reality in greater and greater measure.” (Sacramental Living)

“He [God] tells us through Scripture that the greatest commandment is to love Him and others. And it all begins with a thankful heart.” (Sacramental Living)

"Paul said we should"pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17), meaning that we should, if possible, do everything all day with conscious reference to God (1 Cor 10:31). There should be background music of thankfulness and joy behind every incident in our day, audible only to us (Col 3:16–17). This kind of spontaneous and constant prayer during the day should be a habit of the heart. We will never develop it, however, unless we take up the discipline of regular, daily prayer.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“We must remain mindful of the fact that to be thankful is not merely a state of mind and a feeling of heart. Indeed, it is meaningful only when it is a call to action! Almighty God has not asked us merely to be thankful, He has asked us to act thankful.” (Rev. Andrew Demotses)

“Any relationship with God must begin with a grateful heart and then be cultivated by kindness and goodwill toward others. When you are grateful, you respond toward God and others by enacting other virtues. The cultivation of deepened appreciation and heartfelt gratitude for others quickens the soul to feel the inner need to freely and thankfully respond to God’s invitation to commune with Him.” (Abbot Tryphon)

"The chief purpose of life, for any one of us is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks." (J.R.R. Tolkien)

"Praise and thanksgiving should be our God-given norm and our constant in life.” (OCPM 10/28/2015)

"When we behold God, through God’s own physical order and in every event of life, there is only one adequate response. It is the one thing that most distinguishes the human person from all other living creatures...praise and thanksgiving.” (Father Thomas Loya)

"We must begin with thanksgiving for everything. The beginning of joy is to be content with your situation.” (St. Ambrose of Optina)

“...whatever we do or say should be permeated with an attitude of joy, thankfulness to God, and encouragement of others.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ephesians 5:18-19)

“Do you find something to praise God for each day? As you do, you will find your heart elevated from daily distractions to lasting confidence.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 61:8)

"The magic of a thankful spirit is that it has the power to replace anger with love, resentment with happiness, fear with faith, worry with peace, the desire to dominate with the wish to play on a team, self-preoccupation with concern for the needs of others, guilt with an open door to forgiveness, sexual impurity with honor and respect, jealousy with joy at another’s success, lack of creativity with inspired productivity, inferiorities with dignity, a lack of love with an abundance of self-sharing. (Donald E. Demaray)

“Thank God every day with your whole heart for having given to your life according to His image and likeness..." (St. John of Kronstadt)

“…a fundamental requirement for spiritual growth is a thankful heart. If we are to give thanks, we not only remember all that we should be thankful for, but to whom those thanks are due; we are bound to remember not only the gifts received, but the Giver as well.” (Rev. Andrew Demotses)

“A state of mind that sees God in everything is evidence of growth in grace and a thankful heart.” (Charles G. Finney)

"As Christians, we need to develop an attitude of gratitude. We need to turn from"gimmie” people into"thank you” people. No day should ever close without thanking God for yet another day to serve Him – no matter how good or bad that day may have been. After all, good is always present, even if on the surface it is not immediately visible, and all good things come from God.” (Marianne C. Sailus)

"Praise [during prayer] is important because it helps us remember who God is. Often our prayers are filled with requests for ourselves and others, and we forget to thank God for what He has done and to worship Him for who He is.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 70:4)"Do we stop and realize how many times God has come to our assistance. If we really took the time to realize how many times He has provided assistance to us, it would astound us. Do we thank Him for His help, or do we see them a coincidence…Every day can be a"Thanksgiving Day” if our hearts be filled with gratitude for the God who hears our needs, and even anticipates them before we are aware of them.” (Marianne C. Sailus)

“During the Thanksgiving holiday, we focus on our blessings and express our gratitude to God for them. But thanks should be expressed every day....for the Christian, every single day is Thanksgiving Day, a day to celebrate what God is doing in your life and to reflect on His goodness and grace…” (Life Application Study Bible, 1Corinthians 1:4-6, NIV Men's Devotional Bible)

“To be thankful is to look up at Another far greater than ourselves, and to know that we are not gods ourselves. In that knowledge is the beginning of all wisdom. God asks us for thankful hearts not because He needs them, but because we do.” (Rev. Andrew Demotses)

“We must continually nurture the grace of gratitude in our hearts…A state of mind that sees God in everything is evidence of growth in grace and a thankful heart.” (Rev. Andrew Demotses, Charles Finney)

"What if every driver decided to ignore the center yellow lines? Smash-ups would rival apocalyptic visions. Those colored splotches in the roadway keep us on track. They keep us safe. In our spiritual journey, praise and thanksgiving are like a yellow line, keeping our hearts on track...Praise and thanks are key ingredients in a healthy relationship with God. We need them as much as we need fresh air. Praise isn’t just an outward gesture; it reveals what’s inside us—the attitude we have toward God.” (NIV Men's Devotional Bible)

“Gratitude opens our hearts to God’s peace and enables us to put on love. Discontented people constantly calculate what’s wrong with their lot in life.” (Life Application Study Bible, Colossians 3:16)

“True enjoyment in life comes only as we follow God’s guidelines for living. Without Him, satisfaction is a lost search. Those who know how to enjoy life are the ones who take life each day as a gift from God, thanking Him for it and serving Him in it.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ecclesiastes 2:24-26)

“God has two dwellings – one in heaven and the other in a thankful heart.” (Izaar Walton)"When a person is united with God and God dwells within his heart, he lacks nothing." (Elder Ephraim of the Holy Mountain)

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” (Charles Dickens)

“Life itself, every bit of health that we enjoy, every hour of liberty and free enjoyment, the ability to see, to hear, to speak, to think, and to imagine- all this comes from the hand of God. We show our gratitude by giving back to Him a part of that which He has given to us.” (Billy Graham)

“Jesus, please teach me to appreciate what I have before time forces me to appreciate what I had.” (Susan L. Lenzkes)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

“Before all else, let us list sincere thanksgiving first on the scroll of our prayer. On the second line, we should put confession and heartfelt contrition of soul. Then let us present our petition to the King of all. This is the best way of prayer." (St. John Climacus)

"…be thankful to God even when circumstances appear hopeless." (Orthodox Study Bible, Acts 27:35)

“Instead of whining and complaining—which our culture has raised to an art form—we are to focus on the goodness of God and his mercies toward us." (Life Application Study, Ephesians 5:18,19)

“Peace is seeing a sunrise or a sunset and knowing whom to thank.” (Unknown)

"…we find joy in giving thanks in all things, as God desires.” (Dynamis 11/14/2013)

"When thanksgiving becomes an integral part of your life, you will find that your attitude toward life will change. You will become more positive, gracious, loving, and humble.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 1:4-6)

"Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It's a way to live." (Jacqueline Winspear)

"We start to grumble when our attention shifts from what we have to what we don’t have...Are we grateful for what God has given us, or are we always thinking about what we would like to have? Don’t allow your unfulfilled desires to cause you to forget God’s gifts of life, family, friends, food, health, and work.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 10:10)

“A sign that we are growing in Christ’s love is an increasing appreciation and thankfulness in our hearts for all that we have been given by God, despite any trials we may be facing. When we have moments when we really feel this in our hearts, we are shifting our thought and focus from ourselves to something outside of ourselves – God. This shift in thought is the beginning of our spiritual growth and that is why nothing is more acceptable to God as our thankfulness for His grace.” (Sacramental Living)


#CSLewis #Cicero #PastorTimothyKeller #AbbotTryphon #StAmbroseofOptina #StJohnofKronstadt #MarianneCSailus #RevAndrewDemotses #ElderEphraimoftheHolyMountain #CharlesDickens #BillyGraham #SusanLLenzkes #StJohnClimacus #JacquelineWinspear #SacramentalLiving #StJohnofKrondstat #FatherStephenFreeman #FatherAlexanderSchmemann #StMaximostheConfessor #StIsaactheSyrian #ArchimandriteSergius #KevinScherer #FrStavrosNAkrotirianakis #StTheophantheRecluse #Dynamis #StIgnatiusBrianchaninov #SacramentalLivingMinistries #FrMichaelGillis #FrPhilipLeMasters #FrStephenKostoff #JRRTolkien #FrBasil #ThomasMerton #StNikolaiVelimirovic #RobinPhillips

Quote of the Day

News