Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook


Father Muench Says...

The Gratitude Journal

August 12, 2020

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

This week, I received a mailing from my insurance company. No, it was not a bill. It was a booklet in which there are several suggestions – ideas and games – to help a person deal with the time and trials of this pandemic.

I loved it! The various ideas were sensational! The booklet included several pages of pictures to color. You see, I love coloring. I have several adult coloring books. In addition, the booklet has games and exercises, and all sorts of other stuff.

I want to share with you one particular exercise in this booklet. In fact, I have talked about this several times with the people of our congregation in homilies. This page encourages us to develop a Gratitude Journal. This page encourages us to remember and offer gratitude to the individuals who have been or done something special for us this week.

As you know, I am rather hung up with gratitude and the importance of living a grateful life. I know that Jesus was often concerned about the importance of gratitude. Do you remember the story of how disappointed Jesus was when he healed the ten lepers, but only one returned to offer his gratitude to Jesus?

I know that you are aware that each time we gather for Mass, it is a Eucharist. It is all about gratitude. The word Eucharist means thank you – you know that. In Mass, we praise God in gratitude for all that Jesus did for us through his life, crucifixion and resurrection. We thank God for all that the Lord constantly does for us. We are called to be a people of gratitude. This gratitude transforms our lives with love, peace and happiness.

So, I want to suggest to you that we develop an everyday Gratitude Journal. Each day, let us take a moment to look back on our day to consider and recognize in our Gratitude Journal that person, that experience that deserves our gratitude. I am thinking that we will discover all sorts of surprises and the many individuals that brightened our days by their generosity and care. Those people did something special that deserve our gratitude and recognition. They become witnesses for us of doing the right thing. They actually brought a smile to our day.

I am not talking here about a simple thank you. We are invited to remember a powerful moment of gratitude. Now, I know we always thank God for the good that happens to us, but it is good to recognize the special people who deserve our gratitude. They may be family or friends, but I suspect that it will often be a complete stranger, like the lady who helped me out recently.

I was asked by my doctor to stop in the lab and to give a blood sample. I was rather busy and in a hurry. I suspect I sounded anxious to the receptionist. I guess it was rather obvious that I was in a hurry, and this lady spoke up offering to have me take her place. Yes, I did feel rather uncomfortable, but I do send her my gratitude. She is on the top of the list in my Gratitude Journal.

There have been many strangers in my Gratitude Journal. They deserve to be contacted personally, but they remained strangers. I know you will agree with me that there are many wonderful times when, all of a sudden, a complete stranger comes along to win our gratitude.

So, as I write this column each week, I want to tell you that I put you all, my readers, in my Gratitude Journal. You are in my thoughts and my prayers each time I write.

One other prayer today: I pray that God guides me to be the kind of person who is mentioned in someone’s Gratitude Journal.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.