Ignatius of Loyola espoused the prayer practice called Examen (reflecting daily on what was life giving and what was life draining). His own experience taught him that God was present in all things. Gratitude was a natural response to that awareness – and ingratitude was a form of ignorance.
Practicing gratitude leads to trusting that God will be present in all things – the “positive” and the “challenging.” It leads to trusting that one can live in the present moment, rather than getting lost in past or future.
Some lenses of gratitude I put up against my daily experience include reflection on:
- Moments of:
- Intimacy, community, connectedness, and belonging.
- Vulnerability, powerlessness, and helplessness that were actually portals into experiences of God given divinity within me and all around me.
- Beauty, transcendence, awe and wonder created by God and animated by God’s spirit.
- Surprises, interruptions, consolations, desolations, and strife.
- Laughter, humor, fun, and playfulness.
- Can I be thankful for the ways in which my aging body is diminishing?
- If I were to die tonight, what would I miss about my one of a kind, never been before, will never be again interior and exterior life?
- My sense of call and purpose.
What lenses of gratitude would you put up against your own life?