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Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

Next week we will host our annual donor appreciation brunch and open house at Notre Dame Center in Thousand Oaks, California. In the spirit of thanksgiving, Sister Mary Colette Theobald, who is currently serving in Uganda, wrote a letter of appreciation to our many spiritual and monetary supporters. Uganda 081

Dearest Benefactors,

I want to personally thank you for all the support you give to the Sisters of Notre Dame. I very personally see your spiritual and monetary contributions at work in the Uganda mission. The Sisters of Notre Dame have been in Uganda for 20 years.  The primary school began in 1998, formation for young sisters in 2002, the secondary school in 2003, nursery school in 2007 and a second community in 2009. Construction for a new nursery school for Buseesa has started. There are 12 Ugandan Sisters. Ten more are in the novitiate in Tanzania. Hundreds of young people have benefited from a strong Notre Dame education. Those who have completed their studies are beginning to return to their villages to uplift the standard of living of the people there. None of this would have been possible without you! Thank you, thank you! Webale muno! God bless you! Ruhanga asiimwe.

Thank you, too, for all the other ways you help and support the Sisters of Notre Dame: ministry projects, housing support and renovation, and support for our wonderful aged sisters who gave so much to serve God and His people. May God bless each and every one of you with all the graces and blessings you need at this time.

Please be assured of many prayers for yourself and your families from all of us in Uganda!

Lovingly and gratefully yours,

Sister Mary Colette, SND
Mpala, Uganda

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The following prayer is from Catholic Online. Click the link to see the original page.

Mary, on this day when we honor all mothers, we turn to you. We thank the Lord whom you serve for the great gift of motherhood. Never has it been known that anyone who sought your intercession was left unaided by grace. Dear Mother, thank you for your “Yes” to the invitation of the angel which brought heaven to earth and changed human history. You opened yourself to God’s word and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.

mothers-day-48957_640Dear mother, intercede for all of our mothers. Ask your Divine Son to give them the grace of surrendered love so that they could join with you in giving their own. May they find daily strength to say yes to the call to the sacrificial love- the very heart of the vocation of motherhood. May their love and witness be a source of great inspiration for all of us called to follow your Son.

On this Mothers day, Mother of the Word Incarnate, pray for us who have recourse to you.

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

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On Ash Wednesday we step forward and receive the sign of the cross on our foreheads, not with holy water, but with ashes from the palms of last year’s Palm Sunday. Everyone wants ashes and the lines are longer than for Sunday communion. Maybe it is because deep in our psyche we want to remember that we are destined for eternal life, and that we are entering into a time of repentance to prepare for such.

Perhaps we might also hear: “Remember you are human, but redeemed by Jesus Christ, so be so grateful and smile.” We always enter into Lent ready to “give up” something in order to be united with Christ. I would like to propose that we consider doing Lent with gratitude, really recognizing that when practiced consistently “gratitude” is a powerful asceticism and active penance practice.

Meister Eckhart once wrote, “If the only prayer we ever said was Thank You, this would be enough.” Intimate relationships are built upon mutual appreciation. Beginning our prayer time with sincere gratitude and recognition of God’s goodness in our life puts us in a spirit of childlike trust and readiness to pray from our heart. It affects our personality and attitude. It is very hard to be crabby, anxious, fearful and angry when praying gratitude! Try it.

Gratitude reminds us that while we are wonderfully, beautifully made by God, we are “dust and ashes” and totally dependent upon God for everything. During Lent let’s try to take nothing for granted. Lent is a time to “do something” and not merely “give up something.” We want it to be a time when we take on the mind and heart of Jesus and become more Christian, more virtuous. Fostering a grateful heart does not mean we blot out human suffering and smile as though all is right in the world. It does mean rooting out greediness, complaining, selfishness and moodiness with a spirit of thankfulness even as we pray for those who have less.

Gratitude will beautify your personality and bring a joy to your surroundings. As we foster an inner spirit of gratitude we will automatically express appreciation and give the gift of saying, “Thank you” to other people.  It works wonders and brings out the best in them.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

1. At least once a day take time to personally thank God your Creator for five blessings

2. Observe goodness in others and tell them

3. When reading Sacred Scripture, notice the gratitude passages (in the Psalms, in St. Paul’s letters, in Jesus’ own words, etc.)

4. Examine yourself during Lent to see what sinful tendencies could be overcome if you but fostered humble gratitude in your life.

Let us pray with the Psalmist:

“I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth: in the presence of the Angels I will sing your praise. When I called you answered me; you built up strength within me.” (Ps. 138)

In Gratitude,

Sr. Regina Robbins

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