Piglet gratitude

The other week Evangelisation Westminster posted this image on Twitter...

There was a brief caption which rather succinctly summed up the Examen - a reflective review of the day, or a period of time - which is founded on gratitude. Instead of plunging into an inevitably gloomy appraisal of everything that has gone wrong, or for which we reproach ourselves, we are invited to begin with naming and giving thanks for all that has gone well. Even on days when so much has gone badly, there are always blessings and reasons for gratitude, however slight, hidden or mundane - and recalling them can fill and expand our hearts. And all this gives us the foundation to then move into looking at the shadow side of our day, and then reflecting on, and praying for whatever strength or grace we might need for the next.

Or, as Pope Francis put it, in his address to the religious and catechists in Thailand

Gratitude is always a powerful weapon. Only if we are able to contemplate and feel genuine gratitude for all those ways we have experienced God’s love, generosity, solidarity and trust, as well as his forgiveness, patience, forbearance and compassion, will we allow the Spirit to grant us the freshness that can renew (and not simply patch up) our life and mission. 

Today is the day when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving; and I recall - with immense gratitude, of course! - some wonderful Thanksgivings at 11NG hosted by our American students, as well as the people who were part of these celebrations. It is a good day for focusing on gratitude: for contemplating and giving thanks for all those ways - large, small and often taken for granted - that our lives have been blessed and enhanced; whilst always remembering that gratitude needs to be an everyday, year-round attitude. And then, like Piglet, we will have the joy of discovering that no matter how small our hearts, or how full they might feel, they can always contain a rather large amount of gratitude...