Giving Thanks

Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.  John 6: 11.

I love the Thanks-giving holiday for a lot of reasons.  First, I think few things are more important for our spiritual lives than learning to approach God and His world with gratitude.  I have known several people in my life who just had that aura of holiness about them, and without exception they all had the gift of gratitude.  Secondly, I think we find ourselves very near to the Sacred when we join with friends and family and collectively recall our gifts.  Finally, as we stand on the cusp of the season of Advent and prepare to celebrate the gift of the Incarnation, giving thanks just feels like the right thing to do.

I ran across this Orthodox prayer the other day, and it struck me as ideal for giving thanks for all our gifts:

“Glory to You who have called me forth into life;
Glory to You who have revealed the beauty of the universe to me;
Glory to You who have opened  both heaven and earth to me as an eternal book of wisdom;
Glory to Your eternity in the midst of this temporal world;
Glory to You for Your mercies known and unknown;
Glory to You for every sigh of my sorrow;
Glory to You for every step in my life, and for every moment of joy;
Glory to You, O God, unto the ages!”

God give us all grateful hearts,

James R. Dennis, O.P.

© 2011 James R. Dennis

10 responses to “Giving Thanks

  1. Amen! to that, Dear Br. James, Amen to that!
    And an absolutely wonderful prayer – thank God for the Orthodox and their spirituality emphasizing the blessedness of everyday life.

  2. And I give thanks for your firendship, my brother!


  3. I will be meditating today on “Glory to you Who have called me forth into life” and giving thanks for the gifts I have been given to make the journey.

  4. Glory to You for teachers who open our eyes to new truths.

    Thank you again, Br. James, for something to ponder in my heart and pray over particularly at this Thanksgiving time.

  5. God has gifted me abundantly with more than I can ever thank Him!

    Love the prayer, Brother. Thank you.

  6. Here’s a thanksgiving prayer from Lancelot Andrewes that I routinely use:


    O my Lord, my Lord, I thank Thee for all that I am,
    that I am alive,
    that I am rational:
    for nurture, preservation, governance:
    for education, citizenship, religion:
    for Thy gifts of grace, nature, estate:
    for redemption, regeneration, instruction:
    for calling, recalling, further calling manifold:
    for forbearance, longsuffering, long longsuffering towards me, many times, many years, until now:
    for all good offices I have received, good speed I have gotten:
    for any good thing done:
    for the use of things present, thy promise and my hope touching the fruition of the good things to come:
    for my parents honest and good, teachers gentle, benefactors always to be had in remembrance, colleagues likeminded, hearers attentive, friends sincere, retainers faithful:
    for all who have stood me in good stead by their writings, their sermons, conversations, prayers, examples, rebukes, wrongs:

    for these things and all other, which I wot of, which I wot not of, open and secret
    things I remember, things I have forgotten withal,
    things done to me after my will or yet against my will,
    I confess to Thee and bless Thee and give thanks unto Thee,
    and I will confess and bless and give thanks to Thee all the days of my life.

    What thanks can I render to God again for all the benefits that He hath done unto me?

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