Thomas Merton on Gratitude

Watching yellow, orange and brown leaves dance down from the tree tops I opened some Thomas Merton, a good Kentucky Trapist Monk.  Merton speaks of gratitude as an essential part of the spiritual life.   A coffee cup warming my hands and leaves ride on the wind; it is easy to find grateful. Our Creator has ordered a beautiful world.   Consider Merton’s melding of gratitude and knowledge of God.

Thomas Merton Thoughts in Solitude

Our knowledge of God is perfected by gratitude: we are thankful and rejoice in the experience of the truth that Christ is Love.  … We do not know Christ unless we are grateful and praise the Creator with Him. … There is no neutrality between gratitude and ingratitude.  Those who are not grateful soon begin to complain of everything.  Those who do not love, hate.   …

One who truly responds to the goodness of God and acknowledges all that they receive, cannot possibility be a half-hearted Christian. True gratitude and hypocrisy cannot exist together.  They are totally incompatible. Gratitude of itself makes us sincere.  …

To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything God has given — and God has given us everything.  Every breath we draw is a gift of God’s love; every moment of existence is a grace.     … The grateful know that God is good not by hearsay but by experience.   And that is what makes all the difference.

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