DAILY CATHOLIC     THANKSGIVING/ADVENT Special Issue for Wednesday through Sunday     November 24-28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 223-225

GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

To print out entire text of this special Thanksgiving/Advent issue,
go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE and SECTION FOUR and SECTION FIVE
    INTRODUCTION
    "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

    This weekend Sister takes a respite from her continuing story of "Kathy's Rosary Story" to focus on the blessings of Thanksgiving. She reminds us that we should be grateful to God for whatever He has chosen to bestow on us. No matter our lot in life, gratitude begets gratitude and we should express that gratitude whether it is in suffering for Him to merit graces for ourselves and others, or missions He has charged us with. Sister shows how this gratitude is synonymous with happiness - happiness of the heart as she calls it: A grateful heart is a happy heart.

    Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www .heartofmaryministry. com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy @aol.com by e-mail.

A GRATEFUL HEART IS A HAPPY HEART

        Because Thanksgiving Day is this week, I would like to pause in relating Kathy's Rosary Story, and will continue it again later.

        We all need to take special time to consider ALL of those things for which we can and should be grateful. No matter what our crosses are; no matter what hard luck we have had; no matter what loved ones we have lost, or health conditions we possess, we all have much for which to be grateful to God.

        At Medjugorje Our Blessed Mother said: "Everything you have is a gift from God."

        I think of that many times in even very ordinary actions of the day. Whether I am driving a car, paying bills, putting on a coat in cold weather, I remember, by the grace of God, that I have everything because God has given them as gifts.

        I am grateful to God for the sufferings of my life, as well, because there are some graces we would never receive, if it were not for suffering. Suffering molds us; it teaches us to be kinder to others and more patient. Suffering makes us more like Our Lord and shortens our purgatory. Suffering is redemptive. We actually participate with Jesus in saving souls, when we unite our sufferings with His.

        These are truths that Dr. Kervorkian has never understood. With humility as the foundation of our gratitude, we can acknowledge that all good things come to us from God. It would follow, then, that joy would well up in our hearts. God has done so many good things for us! Thank you, God! A grateful heart is a happy heart. Real and sincere joy is ours when we are grateful to God for what we have.

        We cannot express our gratitude enough. Surely to do so only on Thanksgiving Day is to waste so many other days in thoughtlessness. Every day we should express our gratitude to God. But Thanksgiving Day should be a special time to do so.

        Going to Mass is not a requirement on Thanksgiving Day, but it would be a perfect way to thank God for all of His gifts. If that is not possible, then we can at least take a few separate moments to heartfeltly express our gratitude to our Eternal Father.

        Let's be like the one person cured of leprosy that came back to say "Thank you!" to Jesus for curing Him. God knows who the grateful are. Remember He said: "Were not ten cured? Where are the other nine?"

        For all that God has given me and done for me, I publicly and heartfeltly thank Him. I thank Him for you, also. For without you, dear reader, there would be no one to read what God has given me to write.

        Have a holy, happy, and very grateful Thanksgiving Day! God bless you and yours!

November 24-28, 1999       volume 10, no. 223-225
GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

DAILY CATHOLIC

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