On July 14, at a beautiful Mass at Mount Saint Joseph, I celebrated 60 years as an Ursuline Sister. I was invited to proclaim the second reading, from Colossians 3:12-17 . . . a passage we’ve all heard many times. But, almost as a surprise, one short sentence jumped out at me: And be grateful.
As if for the first time, I realized how truly grateful I am now: for my life, for my parents, and for so many other people who have graced my life. And I’m grateful for my Ursuline vocation and for the many ministries which have sometimes been difficult, but which have brought me closer to God and God’s people. And that is just a beginning!
Henri Nouwen writes that “true spiritual gratitude embraces all of our past,” the good and the bad, the joyful and the sorrowful. He insists that to live a truly grateful life, we must embrace ALL that has happened to us, because “even the bad didn’t happen outside the loving presence of God”(Here and Now, pp. 108-109).
It’s not easy to be grateful for the bad things. But wouldn’t it be a great joy to be living a truly grateful life, and to share it with others? What a gift to be able to look at our life and know, as St. Paul says (Romans 4:16) that everything is grace!