THURSDAY OF THE LAST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Saint Augustine taught that gratitude is the beginning of wisdom, sanctity, virtue, and happiness. The English poet George Herbert says, Thou that has given much to me, give one thing more: a grateful heart. A spirit of thanksgiving is an antidote to one of today’s most debilitating attitudes: entitlement. An attitude of entitlement is when someone believes, I’ve got rights; I’ve got things coming to me; I am owed certain things. Those who feel entitled think My family, my faith, my friends, my country, my job, all owe me. They exist to serve me and meet my needs; the world revolves around me. People exist to satisfy my needs, so they are to be respected only when they are useful to me. Convenience becomes my creed, while sacrifice, service, selflessness become dirty words. Christ teaches the exact opposite. We are put here on earth to know, love and serve Him. While we’re here, it is our task to be our brother’s (and sister’s) keeper – to look out for others and treat them with dignity and respect. When we do that, we’re expressing our gratitude to God for all that God has given us. That’s Christianity. That’s decent, civil, thoughtful, responsible living. Historians say that modernity began when Copernicus discovered that the earth was not the center of the universe. Well, maturity begins when I admit that neither am I. In the end, it’s all about thank you, not give me.
-Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, Who Do You Say That I Am?
Father Bill +