“Gratitude is another one of those virtues that requires practice and strengthening. But it starts with that ability to be like a child and to revel in that which is actually right in front of you. Not revel in a selfish way: look at all great things that I’ve got, but to just take delight. If you watch a child open a Christmas present, there’s this look on their face, as if to say, ‘When I peel that next sheet of paper off, the whole universe may change.’ And then they see the doll, or toy, or whatever it is, and their eyes get huge; their universe did just change! That’s the spirit we want to have all the time. Maybe not the gleeful dance the children do after they see the toy but that same conviction that one little turn of the page and the whole world could be new for us. God is making it new, minute by minute, day by day. Start looking at things that way. When you walk around, make sure you look at the beautiful surroundings and notice how astonishingly beautiful they are.

The more you focus on experiencing the joyfulness of what’s around you, gratitude becomes the natural response. When you’re filled with delight at how beautiful something is, you automatically become thankful for it. When you’re filled with awe at the closeness of God in the temple, you become grateful for it automatically. And then that gratitude starts to take root in your heart, and it starts to express itself in things that are less obvious.”

–     Talk by Bishop Irenei of Western Europe


***Now and then we include a particularly thought provoking or inspiring excerpt not from one of our regular ‘Elders’***