Quiet Storm by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 15 July 2021
Along with the word “please”, saying “thank you” is one of the virtues we have been taught since childhood with hopes the values they impart become part of our lives like a habit or something good we can keep doing for the rest of our lives.
Unfortunately, we only learn but do not necessarily remember our lessons.
Saying thank you and please have long been at the brink of extinction, so endangered in our fast paced and consumeristic society.
Thanks to COVID-19. The pandemic that refuses to end and continues to threaten our well-being and sanity has taught us to recapture and relearn gratitude expressed in the simple words thank you the world has seemed to almost forgotten.
Gratitude is a virtue that works great wonders for everyone because it makes us live in the present moment. A grateful person is one who lives in the here and now, not in the past nor in the future.
When our heart is filled we gratitude, we have no time to complain and nurse old wounds and pains in the past but simply learn from them and move on with life. Living in the present moment means making things happen, working hard on our dreams and aspirations to become a reality. People who refuse to be grateful in life are busy wishful thinking of how things should be or would be, always looking at the future as a fantasy that would just pop out of nowhere instead of working for it in the present moment.
Unknown to many, gratitude is the fount of all good vibes in life, enabling us to be more positive than negative. It helps us accept the reality we are into – whether it is good or bad.
And that is when we start growing and maturing as persons when we learn to accept our present realities.
Most of all, gratitude disposes us to more blessings and grace from God because a thankful heart is always the one that seeks relationships, with God and with others.
People who go out of their way to say thank you, to express gratitude are person-oriented. They see more the persons not just the kind deeds done to them and beautiful gifts given them.
People who go out of their way to say thank you, to express gratitude are person-oriented. They see more the persons not just the kind deeds done to them and beautiful gifts given them. When we say thank you, when we let others know of how grateful we are, we recognize their personhood that is why we reach out to them, trying to connect with them and befriend them. Or, to keep our ties alive and strong. As the old song of my father’s generation would go, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”
Remember the ten lepers healed by Jesus Christ on his way to Jerusalem?
Only one returned – a Samaritan – to thank Jesus.
Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”Luke 17:17-19
From being cleansed like the nine others, it was only the Samaritan who returned to thank Jesus was healed – or saved – from his sickness. Healing is something more than a cure of one’s disease that refers to total well-being of one who is restored not only to health but into life as whole.
Gratitude is a very practical virtue, “the parent of all virtues” according to the Roman scholar and statesman Cicero. It is the one virtue we need to recapture and reacquire to make through the many challenges and trials this pandemic has brought us.
Instead of complaining and being so sorry with the plight we are into due to COVID-19, let us start counting our many blessings in life to see the vast opportunities and lessons this crisis has given us. In fact, the more this pandemic has persisted, the more blessings we can find that we must be thankful too.
Because of the pandemic, we have learned to cherish more one another as we come to value persons and life more than things again. Aside from learning how to cook and bake during the lockdowns, we learned to value food anew, not to mention the new source of income for many.
There are so many things we have to be grateful in life during this time of the pandemic, perhaps even more than the sufferings and trials we have gone through as it opened to us new views and perceptions about life itself.
Most of all, it had brought us back to the grounding of our being, God who is life himself, the source of all good things we have long forgotten and now remember. And rightly praise and thank. Amen.