An Encouraging Word – Gratitude for basic goodness

Father J. Ronald Knott
Father J. Ronald Knott

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Psalm 23:6

Every once in a while, I seem to be overcome with a notion that I can’t dismiss. This morning as I was sipping coffee and waiting for someone to show up, I was overwhelmed with the awareness that there is a lot of goodness in the people I know. It is always there, of course, but sometimes I fail to focus on it. When I am able to give it attention, I am always amazed.

It occurred to me that I may experience a lot of meanness in a week’s time and that meanness may get the lion’s share of my attention, but if I pay careful attention I will notice that I also experience some remarkable goodness that is worth savoring as well.

1.) The people who have generously supported me in my mission projects have simply been amazing. I know that behind much of it has been personal support to me as much as it has been to the people down in the islands
2.) The people who constantly affirm me in the writing of this column are lavish in their praise and appreciation. They make me feel like I am making a difference in their lives — something that every priest lives to hear.
3.) My family is a constant blessing, a quiet presence that I know is always there should I ever need them. I am proud of the them, they let me know that they are proud of me and neither of us leave that in doubt.
4.) The residents of the nursing homes I visit inspire me constantly with the way they handle their situations with courage and grace. They readily show their appreciation for the time I make for them. The staff who care for them are heroic in giving those residents the care and attention they deserve and need. Their work is not easy, but they seem to see it more as a ministry than a job. They are inspiring to watch.
5.) My new friends down in the islands have accepted me and welcomed me in a way that I find fascinating. They have brought a new enthusiasm for ministry into my retirement years that keeps surprising me.
6.) Former parishioners, as well as seminarians and college students, who call me out of the blue, send me cards and letters, contact me on the Internet and light up when I run into them unexpectedly, are gifts in my life that keep on giving.
7.) The circle of friends who help me maintain my computer, my blog, my column and my car keep me going and make my ministry possible.

In short, most of the people in our lives are unbelievably good to us. They should leave us filled with gratitude, appreciation and pride. We should feel blessed, fortunate and privileged to be the beneficiary of so much acceptance, love and kindness.

The Record
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