I was quietly sitting beside a small lake near our house this evening, and I was struck by how absolutely beautiful this world is, and how grateful I am to experience it.
So I think it is no coincidence that I also had the opportunity to read a short article by Charlie McKinney of Sophia Institute Press entitled Gratitude Brings Many Blessings which highlights the ways that gratitude impacts our lives.
He highlights in particular that gratitude increases humility and charity, is contagious, and finally, that it nurtures holiness.
For myself, I can attest to the reality of all of these realities.
For example, I find that being in the presence of a magnificent view of creation – – like a beautiful sunset, or sitting by a lake, or a magnificent view of the mountains, or the roar of the ocean–always causes me to pause, and to be conscious of my place in the universe.
In other words, that I am a creature, and not the Creator, and that causes in my heart not only a a deep sense of wonder, but of immense humility.
But my humility is also integrally to an increase in charity.
Because I am overwhelmed by the knowledge that this same Creator of this vast universe loves me so much, that He gave His life for mine, to ensure that I would have the opportunity to choose to be with Him for all eternity.
And finally, I have experienced how gratitude nurtures holiness.
Well, one of the observations made in the article is that “a grateful man cannot be a bad man.”
When one is living in absolute awe of life–filled and overflowing with gratitude in response to the many blessings and wonders that it is possible to see, hear, taste, smell, touch, and feel in the profound depths of one’s soul each and every day, then it is utterly impossible to not desire to share that awe and those insights with others around you. And this state of gratitude causes us to exude all the gifts of the Holy Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control, to everyone around us, and that being an instrument of the Holy Spirit is what nurtures holiness in our lives.
So as you enter into this upcoming week, I challenge you to cultivate “an attitude of gratitude” and see how it helps you grow in holiness.
You just might become a saint!
Christina Semmens is a Roman Catholic author, blogger, speaker and mentor. She currently lives in Fort Payne, Alabama where she strives to live out a life of authentic discipleship in the pursuit of holiness while encouraging, teaching and accompanying others in striving to do the same. You can find out more about Christina and her ministry efforts at www.sayyestoholiness.com. Or sign up up for her weekly Say Yes to Holiness newsletter here.