January 24, 2021

Words about Gratitude


Thanksgiving Day (U.S.), 2013

Thomas Merton
To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.

Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.

Annie Dillard
I think the dying pray at the last not “please,” but “thank you,” as a guest thanks his host at the door.

Ronald Rolheiser
Sanctity has to do with gratitude. To be a saint is to be fueled by gratitude, nothing more and nothing less.

Francis Schaeffer
A quiet disposition and a heart giving thanks at any given moment is the real test of the extent to which we love God at that moment.

N.T. Wright
A sense of astonished gratitude is very near the heart of authentic Christian experience.

Richard Rohr
Prayer is sitting in the silence until it silences us, choosing gratitude until we are grateful, and praising God until we ourselves are an act of praise.

G.K. Chesterton
Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

Henri Nouwen
Gratitude goes beyond the “mine” and “thine” and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. 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 have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich!


  1. I reflect on “Thanksgiving” and Francis Schaeffer’s quote. For me, I fall short of his statement. Yet it inspires me to be more consistent in a thankful heart and less in griping (or grumbling or complaining or whatever else is my wayward heart’s condition). Thank you !

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to all here.

    I try to not do this too often, but once in a while I just can’t help it.

    Here’s last night’s Thanksgiving Eve message:


    It’s titled, “Want to do something that really matters this Thanksgiving (and any other day)?”

    It’s less than 15 min. But a keeper.

  3. Thank you Sir, may I have another?

  4. Wednesday night, my wife and I attended a joint Thanksgiving service held by several area churches and hosted at a local Lutheran church. There was a massed choir assembled from the participating churches, and clergy representing the several different denominations: Lutheran, Episcopal, Roman Catholic, Mennonite. The large sanctuary was perhaps three quarters full with worshipers.

    At the beginning of the service, a Lutheran deaconess read the President’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, in which the President proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving to be observed by the American people. In his statement, the President highlighted the diversity of the American people, who profess many different forms of belief, some religious and some not. He emphasized that whatever our individual beliefs, we have much to be thankful for as a nation.

    And then the President made an assertion that jarred me. He said that “…we are all Americans first and foremost…”

    Really? But that can’t be. Why can’t that be?

    Because Christians are first and foremost sinners redeemed by Jesus Christ. This reality of redemption in Jesus Christ is the very heart of all for which we should be thankful. Everything else is secondary. My world, my nation, my family, my self all are far behind my identity as a sinner redeemed by Jesus Christ; if I’m not this, then I’m nothing.

    Mr. President, I hope that you’re wrong; I hope that we are not first and foremost Americans, because America has no rightful claim on our first and foremost thanksgiving, or loyalty.

    And that’s a theological no-brainer.

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