Friday, February 19, 2016

Why Is It So Difficult for Me to Say "Thank You?"

Friday morning greetings from a much warmer Midwest. Feels good!

In recent days, I have discovered something about me. In the wake of some very good news about a close family member, I have found it difficult to express my thanks to God. And I guess this mirrors another, deeper aspect of my own life.

I think I am very good at focusing in prayer when someone is in need. I pray the rosary, asking the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of "Our Lady, Mother of the Afflicted," to intercede on behalf of those who have asked me to pray for them because of some serious health or life issue. Asking for help and comfort from the Lord is something that seems to come naturally for me. I simply throw my prayers God's way. When a surprisingly good diagnosis was reached for my family member, my mother said, "Of course, we never told the doctor that it was because of all the prayers." Simple, straightforward faith from a woman who has seen her own share of life's heartaches.

But this week, when it came time to thank God for good news, I found myself stuttering before the Lord.

Then I remembered how a certain pattern has developed in my own life. And this pattern appeared as recently as this past Saturday. After I finished giving my morning of reflection for liturgical ministers at Saint Michael Parish in Schererville, Indiana, I headed to the men's room. In the bathroom, I met an elderly man who said, "You know, there are people who have tremendous gifts given to them by God. You are one of those people and I am so happy and grateful that I came here this morning." Instead of thanking the man, I said what I usually say, "Well, God is good."

Why do I have such a problem with simply thanking someone when I am complimented? Perhaps it is something deep inside of me that has been ingrained for years of my Catholic life; something about not being deserving of praise and thanks from others. So, I deflect most compliments and simply say that God is good. Maybe I just need to look people in the eyes and just say "thank you."

Perhaps that is all I need to do with the Lord in these days of tremendous joy over good news received. But I am so used to asking for help from God that I find it difficult just to be thankful.

Sometimes writing a blog post like this is like spiritual therapy for me.

Lord, help me today to try to say "thank you" to others when they see something inside me for which they are grateful and to you when my heart is full of gratitude.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Carl r. opat said...

I also find myself doing the same thing. And always have. After a Mass or an evening prayer someone will come up and say the choir was beautiful you played beautifully and I go it's a beautiful wonderful gift from God instead of saying thank you. I don't know maybe it's somehow connected to people in music and litergy?

Liam said...

I identify with this from earlier in my life.

As part of my daily morning office, as it were, I include the following:

"Thank you, O Lord, for all of the blessings you have bestowed upon me, especially those I do not know not of, do not understand, do not appreciate, or take for granted."

Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

Thank you Liam and Carl. Jerry