First Down with Fr. Eric (September 22, 2019)

Dear Friends,

One of the best teaching moments for parents is when they teach their children to say “thank you” when a situation arises. Younger children are not fully aware of using good manners to say thank you when another person gives or does something for them. The parents speak up and tell the child to say thank you for what they received. This is one of the important lessons that parents teach their children, to be grateful for what one has received.

For adults, we, too, need to be reminded that saying thank you or expressing gratitude is important. For Catholics, expressing gratitude is at the heart of everything we do with God. The word “Eucharist” from the Greek means Giving Thanks. Faith in God can mean that we are grateful for every good gift that we have been given. We try to avoid, in the business of life, the expectation that everything works out on its own. We lose the gratitude and it can easily become entitlement or seeing God as someone who owes us good things in life because we have done some good things.

If we are losing the meaning of why we are called to come to Mass each Sunday, maybe we can start with changing our prayer life. One can pray for the next 30 days to God, not asking for anything, rather, simply spend our prayer time being grateful for everything. Start each day thanking God, praising God for every good gift, even those things we can easily take for granted. I know when I focus my prayer on giving thanks, my attitude and my outlook on life is much more positive. The problems that can cause me difficulty, I seem to handle much better when I give thanks to God as a starting point in my prayer. In reality, can we ever live one day of our lives without thanking God? Probably not.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric