When you ask someone, what makes him/her happy, have you heard them stating “Gratitude” as an important element?
What is gratitude? Gratitude is an act or attitude of appreciating the good things, that have been received. Whether the recipient deserves or not, the giver gives with love. Hence, gratitude is an act of demonstrating, how much the recipient appreciates the love of the giver.
In fact, the virtue of gratitude is an invitation to open our eyes to recognize that others and especially God gives, not out of duty, but out of love and generosity.
St. Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians writes, “… give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). By expressing gratitude, we acknowledge God’s gifts and that of others; it fosters deeply our relationship with God and others. When we take time to reflect prayerfully, who we are and what God has done for us, then the only adequate response will be gratitude.
Ultimately, gratitude is all about love. The level of gratitude to God, whose infinite and caring love, we taste and experience every day, can be measured with how much we are grateful to those around us, who show us acts of love. The more we are aware of others’ love and above all God’s love for us, the happier we would feel. If you reflect, you will agree with me that gratitude has so much to do with our level of happiness.
How much are you able to recognize God’s love in your life and increase your happiness?
May our hearts be every grateful for the love we receive,
Fr. Arul Joseph V.