In yesterday’s post, I use the book In the School of the Holy Spirit by Fr. Jacques Phillippe. It is a short little book, easy to read, but some profound insights in what it means to live a life in the Holy Spirit. If you have not read yet, I would encourage you to do so.
Fr. Philippe says: “What prevents us from his receiving more abundant graces from God may be quite simply our not being sufficiently grateful and not thanking him for the graces he has already given us. There is no doubt that if we thank God with all of our heart for the grace received, especially for the inspirations, he will grant us more.”
Fr. Philippe quotes St. Therese of the Lisieux who said to her sister Celine: “What most draws down graces from our dear Lord is gratitude, for we thank him for a gift, he is touched and hastens to give us ten more, and if we thank him again with the same sincerity, what an incalculable multiplication of graces! I have experienced this: try it and you will see. My gratitude for all that he gives me is boundless, and I prove this to him in a thousand ways.”
The Examen prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola, which I try to pray consistently with my night prayer has help me to cultivate a heart of gratitude in my day. The first step in the prayer of the examen prayer St. Ignatius writes in his spiritual exercises “to give thanks to God our Lord for the benefits received.” (SpirEx, 43).
Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OMV in his book The Examen Prayer: Ignatius Wisdom for our Lives Today says: “that in step one of the Examen will always look concretely at the time we are reviewing our day in order to recognize the specific ways in which God has poured out gifts of love upon us.” Fr. Gallagher goes on to say, “the word gratitude — lies at the very heart of our entire relationship with God.”
As you continue to pray and fast these days leading up to Pentecost Sunday, I encourage you to concretely make a list or a litany of all the graces and blessings that you have received in your life and to share them with Jesus. If you can, I would encourage you to take this list/litany and spend some time with the Lord in adoration. Go before Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and with a of heart of sincerity share all the ways you experienced the Lord’s grace and blessing in your life and watch the multiply.
Come Holy Spirit – Come now – Come as you May
God Bless – Fr. Mark