The Sweet Duty of Gratitude

Dec 6, 2021 | Articles, Friendships & Relationships, Virtues

By Amber Kinloch

A friend was thanking me for praying for him when he said something most striking.  He remarked on how we ask people to pray for us, but forget to thank them later on.

What a profound thought.  We say thank you to someone who’s done us some favor, and we write “thank you” notes to those who send us gifts.  How is it that we pass over thanking people for the most important gift they can give us?

It is understandable: prayer is a hidden service, and frequently we’re unaware of how much others are praying for us.  Besides, I suppose we have a tendency to think: “Eh, did those prayers make such a difference?  I’m sure I would have pulled through anyway.”  Often, we don’t perceive the power of prayer until some heavy cross forces us to our knees (and even then, we soon forget the difference prayer makes once the cross leaves us).

But while these failings are understandable, that doesn’t make them excusable.  Gratitude is a virtue and a form of prayer.  God values it highly, as we see from the healing of the ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19).  Moreover, in Heaven, while we’ll have no need of prayers of petition or contrition, we will be offering prayers of thanks for all eternity.  How can we underrate the importance of gratitude?

Let’s remember to thank our spiritual benefactors for their kindness in word and deed.  After all, it’s not just our fellow human beings we’re thanking.  We’re thanking God Himself for helping us through these people.  What a sweet duty.

Amber Kinloch

Amber Kinloch

Amber  writes from the bunker of her living room.  There she hunkers down with her laptop and a blanket while keeping an eye and ear tuned in to the activity of family life.  Music set on loop keeps her energy flowing as she muses on the deeper happenings of ordinary life and what food to restock the fridge with.


Before commenting, please read through our comment guidelines.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

St. Joseph's Shelf logo

Welcome to St. Joseph’s Shelf!

Are you looking for ways to apply your Faith to your daily life and become a saint? We publish practical Catholic reflections on ordinary life every week.

You Might Like...

Mary’s Immaculate Conception: What It Means for You and Me

Mary’s Immaculate Conception: What It Means for You and Me

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception teaches that Mary was preserved from any stain of sin from the first moment of her conception onward. It’s a stunning truth to ponder, yet perhaps we might wonder how we can relate to a woman so pure and exalted. Here, then, are four things you and I can draw from Mary’s Immaculate Conception in relation to our everyday lives.

read more