GRATITUDE LIFTS UP OUR HEARTS
Priest: Let us lift up our hearts! (Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας. / Sursum corda. / Горе имеим сердца.)
People: We have them (lifted up) to the Lord. (Ἔχομεν πρὸς τὸν Κύριον. / Habemus ad dominum. / Имамы ко Господу.)
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord! (Εὐχαριστήσωμεν τῷ Κυρίῳ. / Gratias agamus domino. / Благодарим Господа.)
People: It is meet and right. (Ἄξιον καὶ δίκαιον. / Dignum et iustum est. / Достойно и праведно есть...)
This part of the Pre-Anaphoral Dialogue is common to the traditional Eucharistic Prayers of both East and West. And it reminds me of a vital aspect of any Christian prayer, or of any prayerful life, – that when we “lift up our hearts to the Lord,” we do so “in to,” and via, gratitude, or “giving thanks” to the Lord. It is gratitude that lifts up our hearts, like nothing else, and overcomes that which weighs them down most of all, like fears of not being loved (enough), or of not being financially secure (enough). It also overcomes the resentments we might harbor, as a result of these fears, toward others or even ourselves, for not doing or accomplishing enough, for us, in these areas.
Today let me carry in my heart an “Amen” to gratitude, or an “It is meet and right" to gratitude, which is just a different way of saying “Amen.” Let me embrace gratitude, for my here and now, in which I am OK, and have “enough” for today, by God’s grace. I have also had “enough” in the past, through which God has sustained me all the way up to today, regardless of my shortcomings, or those of others. Today, as we prepare to be “lifted up” into the springtime of Lent, let me not have my heart weighed down. Let me pray and forgive, both myself and others, in gratitude for everything. “Take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, …Watch therefore, and pray always that you may have strength to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Lk 21: 34, 36) Today I stand before You, Lord, in humbled gratitude for it all.