“Early this morning, as I was watering the small garden in front of my family’s house in Brooklyn, I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for all the blessings of my life.
What flashed in my mind was the realization that I have watered that garden countless times, as far back as when I was a little boy.
In a single moment, a flood of images filled my memory, of standing in that same spot, surrounded by people who loved me. I can’t even remember the many challenges that I faced in my own life during the years that I watered that garden. Yet, through it all, those challenges were really blessings, since many became occasions for my own spiritual growth. How good the Lord has been to me, despite my faults, failing and sins!
Yet, as I walked away to store the garden hose, a question flashed in my mind that caught me off guard. It is a question that I need to reflect upon. It is a question that I wish to share with you as well. For if the true measure of gratitude to God is our ability to enjoy the blessings He gives us and at the same time, our willingness to give those blessings up if God asks us to do so, how truly grateful am I? For the giver of all good gifts is God, who knows what is best for us and gives us exactly what we need to grow in love of Him. God alone is the author of all blessings. At times, God may take away what we perceive to be a blessing, not because he wishes to punish us but because His love for us demands that He do so, even though we may not understand why. During such times of challenge, our response should be one of trust and even gratitude.
If the true measure of Christian gratitude to God is to surrender our will to His, to enjoy the blessings we have today and be ready to give them up if God so asks for our greater good, then I think I have more spiritual work to do in order to become a truly grateful man of faith.I look forward to watering the garden tomorrow morning, in the hope that I will grow in gratitude for the gift of another day in that same spot.”
(This reflection is taken from the Bishop’s Facebook page, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano)