GRATITUDE FOR EVERYTHING
(Monday, November 13)
“Glory to God for all things!” (St. John Chrysostom, +407)
These were the final words of St. John Chrysostom, celebrated today on the “New” Calendar. According to some versions of his life, he added to the above-quoted last words – “especially for the sorrows!” The “golden-mouthed” preacher and archbishop died in exile, having been condemned not only by his state authorities, but also by a “canonical” synod of bishops of his church. His famous last words are making me think about gratitude, and why we might feel grateful for “all things,” also or even *especially* for the sorrows.
How might we be benefiting from our sorrows, like the painful rejections and losses of our friends and loved ones? For one thing, we might be learning detachment, in preparation for the moment when we will have to let go of all earthly attachments. I realize this may sound morbid or depressing. But being properly, spiritually prepared for physical death through *detachment* does not make us less alive, or less capable of joyous and abundant life. It makes us more free, to look forward and respond more effectively to God’s call to us personally, to the new life and new freedom that He offers us through realizing our own vocation. God allows us to be separated out, – from that and those which, for whatever reasons known sometimes only to Him, are not meant to be part of our cross-carrying journey at the moment.
Let us have faith and be grateful today, for God’s purpose for each of us. Because gratitude brings us peace and freedom from selfish attachments and fears, which might cripple us and make us waste precious time. Glory to God for all things! Holy father, John Chrysostom, pray to God for us!