Why gratitude is vital

CERC shares this sober thought:

What a mockery of so-called prosperous America, the wealthiest nation on earth and the most affluent society in history, that so many of its citizens are taking their own lives; that euthanasia laws are being passed by one state after another to legalize self-murder and the murder of unwanted adults; that over a million unborn children are murdered each year by their, shall we call them, "mothers"; that some sixty-five million Americans are keeping some semblance of emotional sanity by using strong medical sedatives and millions of others have become confirmed alcoholics; and that drug addiction especially among the young has reached epidemic proportions. No doubt other causes and explanations are also the reason for this contradiction between material prosperity and spiritual destitution, but I think the fundamental reason is the weakening of hope among our people.

...but then we learn the antidote to despair:

There is nothing mysterious about this relationship between hope and love. After all, if I trust that someone will give me what he promised, my confidence will depend on how well I appreciate that person's goodness, in a word, how much I love him or her. People that we love, we always trust. Better, we trust nobody else. Either we recognize a person's generosity and kindness or we would be fools to trust him. Moreover, it is not only or mainly our love for someone that motivates our trust. It is also and especially that person's love for us. Transfer these reflections to God and we see how close a relationship there is between hope in God and love of God, ours for Him and His for us. Can we possibly doubt God's promises for the future, seeing how good He has been to us in the past and up to the present moment? What have we, beginning with ourselves, that we have not received from His bounty?

We began, if that is the verb, as nothing. Time was when we were not. Our existence is the fruit of divine love and from then on God has been giving us everything just to show how much He cares. Cares? He gave us Himself on the cross. He gives Himself in the Eucharist and He continues giving Himself in all the wonderful persons and graces and blessings and experiences of our lives. Thanks, Lord, I appreciate it.

Reflection on God's goodness so far is a sure way of growing in confidence in His goodness into the future. It is a future that is bright with promise. Why should it not be? We have the words, and I would add the warning, of our Savior, not asking but commanding us. Listen: "Do not let your hearts he troubled. Trust in God, trust in me.

Yes, we trust You, Jesus, because You are our God. We know that You love us and we love You. Between those who love there should be no worry or distrust, but only a calm abiding hope that casts out all fear.

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