Sacred Scripture constantly invites us to give thanks to God: the hymns, the psalms, the words of all righteous men are full of praise and thanksgiving to God. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his favors," says the Psalmist. Thankfulness is an extraordinarily beautiful way of relating to God and to mankind. It is a very pleasing way of praying to the Lord, which in some way anticipates the praise we will give him forever in eternity, and a way of making our daily life together more pleasant. We call precisely Thanksgiving the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, by which we anticipate that union in which eternal beatitude will consist.
In the Gospel we see how the Lord laments the ingratitude of some lepers who do not know how to be grateful: after being cured, they no longer remembered the one who had restored them to health, and with it their family, their work..., their life. Jesus remained waiting for them. On another occasion he complains about the city of Jerusalem, which does not perceive the infinite mercy of God in visiting it, nor the gift that the Lord gives it by trying to welcome it as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
Gratefulness is a way of expressing faith, for we recognize God as the source of all good things; it is a manifestation of hope, for we affirm that in Him are all good things; and it leads to love6 and humility, for we recognize ourselves as poor and needy. St. Paul strongly exhorted the first Christians to be grateful: Give thanks to God, for this is what God wants you to do in Jesus Christ, and he considers ingratitude as one of the causes of paganism.
"St. Paul," notes St. John Chrysostom, "gives thanks in all his letters for all the benefits of the earth. Let us also give thanks for our own benefits and for those of others, for the small and for the great." One day, when we are already in the presence of God forever, we will understand with complete clarity that not only do we owe our existence to Him, but that our whole existence was filled with so many cares, graces and benefits "that they outnumber the sands of the sea". We will realize that we had nothing but reasons to be grateful to God and to others. It is only when faith is extinguished that we cease to see these goods and this pleasing obligation.
"Get into the habit of lifting up your heart to God, in thanksgiving, many times a day. -Because he gives you this and that. -Because you have been despised. -Because you have not what you need or because you have it.
"Because he made his Mother so beautiful, who is also your Mother. -Because he made the sun and the moon and that animal and that plant.....
"Give Him thanks for everything, for everything is good".