1 The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,
the world and its inhabitants too.
2 Because God is the one who established it on the seas;
God set it firmly on the waters.
3 Who can ascend the Lord’s mountain?
Who can stand in his holy sanctuary?
4 Only the one with clean hands and a pure heart;
the one who hasn’t made false promises,
the one who hasn’t sworn dishonestly.
5 That kind of person receives blessings from the Lord
and righteousness from the God who saves.
Part of the beauty of the Thanksgiving holiday is that it is something we can all share – regardless of our faith tradition. It has this amazing unifying quality. Even people with no faith background can understand, embrace and appreciate the practice of gratitude as a healthy approach to living.
Study after study shows that gratitude is key to a healthy attitude.
Why would this be? The psalm points to a truth that people of faith understand: “the earth is the Lord’s…the world and its inhabitants too.” There is a fundamental unity to creation. It is exemplified in the delicate interplay of every natural system. St. Francis describes this unity in his famous “Canticle of the Sun,” where he celebrates everything – up to and including “Sister Death!”
We may not be ready to go quite that far. But there is no doubt that gratitude moves us closer to oneness with each other, with the natural world, and with our Creator. Every study confirms this fact because this is how we were made. It’s part of who we are, especially as people of faith.
For Pondering & Prayer
Is there such a thing as faith without gratitude?
How might the practice of gratitude lead us into closer relationships with the people in our lives?