Reflections on Gratitude

By Sister Rosalie Locati

The seed of gratitude nestles in the deepest recesses of the heart.  From our birth it begins to bud forth triggered by the love, attention and sustenance of parents, family, and friends.  It begins to leaf out into a variety of words and actions as we grow and develop into unique persons.  From the modeling, teaching, mentoring and educating of those around us, gratitude takes its place within our conscious attitudes, ideas and responses to life’s experiences.  It is both an emotional response and a choice.  It crosses all boundaries of race, age, creed, vocation, gender and nation and yet is emphasized by all great religious traditions. 

Gratitude engenders other virtues such as generosity, humility, compassion, wisdom, joy, integrity and trust.  The daily practice of gratitude keeps the heart open regardless of what comes our way.  The disposition of mindfulness, of being aware of and thankful for our blessings, helps cultivate our virtues and significantly diminishes or can even eradicate any obstacles to gratitude we may face. 

Several quotes remind me of the treasure available when we live with an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person, each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.”  – Rabbi Harold Kushner

“I give thanks to my God every time I think of you—which is constantly, in every prayer I utter—rejoicing…at the way you have all continually helped promote the Gospel from the very first day,”  – Philippians 1:3-6

hospital window with decorations of hearts and a quote
Window at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital, Spokane, Wash., where Sister Rosalie Locati serves as sister resource for mission heritage.