Yesterday we identified three ways the catechism of the Catholic Church sought to answer the question about what is prayer. The first was that prayer is God’s gift. What this means is that this a chance to apply what I first learned as a little boy. When someone gives you a gift, you say, “Thank you.”
Gratitude is an important thing. Consider what we have learned about being grateful. A study reported in Forbes Magazine says that expressing higher levels of gratitude correlate with higher levels of openness to relationships, which make people happy. People who could reflect back on positive experiences discovered they were happy than they were thinking about positive purchases.
Also, people who expressed their gratitude, and responded to it by becoming generous was also shown to lead to greater happiness. Studies have also shown happiness increases when gratitude becomes a habit, being grateful helps us to stop comparing ourselves to others, helps us better focus on positive experiences rather than negative ones, and gratitude is an “energizing force that may lead us to pursue our goals and become better, more socially engaged people.“
And so thinking of prayer as a gift from God should lead us to be more grateful. We do know that being grateful can lead to more and deeper relationships. And being grateful to God can help us to a deeper relationship with God, our most important relationship.
Over the next few days, we will look at concrete ways we can grow in the habit of prayerful gratefulness. Spend time today thanking Jesus for the good things in your life.
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