Lent Retreat, Week 3: Gratitude

Day 1

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”  Melody Beattie

 

For Today:

During the course of this week, spend time at the end of each day to think on the events and people of the day that you are grateful for.  Make a list in a journal if you are able.

 

Day 2

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." Buddha

 

For Today:

What happens to our spirits when we are thankful for all the little things of life?  When you add them all up, does it help you feel a sense of gratitude?

 

Day 3

“You won’t be happy with more until you’re happy with what you’ve got.” Viki King

 

For Today:

Try to live with a “spirit of enough.”  Realize how lucky you are to have all that you do, even if others seem to have more than you.  Focus on your good fortune, and be grateful.

 

Day 4

"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

For Today:

What are pieces of life that you take for granted?  What things have you seen recently that amaze you? 

 

Day 5

“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.”  Proverb

 

For Today:

How easy is it for you to see the glass as being half full?  Do you find yourself falling into a negative view of life?  Try to look for the good in all things, and see how it changes your day.

 

Day 6

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”  Epicurus

 

For Today:

Think of past hopes and dreams that have become a reality.  Take a moment to be grateful.  Then be grateful for possibility, and the opportunity to work toward new dreams.

 

Day 7

“In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and all I have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” Henri Nouwen

 

For Today:

What happens when we think of all of life as gift?  Try to see all the things as a gift that we need to unwrap – even if there seems to be way too much tape.