With the beginning of a new liturgical year, we heard in the Epistle today from St. Paul, “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”—Rom 13:12

Seeking what resolutions to pursue for the new year, I recently heard this talk by Fr. Ripperger. That talk opened my eyes to the depth of graces offered to people who endure temptations from enemies invisible (and probably visible.)  Also, as in other talks, Fr. Ripperger encouraged his listeners to ask Our Lady of Sorrows to reveal their primary defect.

This time the answer in prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows in regards to my primary defect was immediate, even as I started this new liturgical year: Thanksgiving.

“Lack of thanksgiving” probably sounds like a humble-brag defect to you, as it sounds like I have mastered all other virtues.  But I quickly understood by God’s grace passing through Our Lady’s hands in prayer yesterday that it was the root of all my other more serious sins. In fact, I wrote the following (nearly verbatim but with a few changes) in my digital journal today as many insights came into my life on what an increase in gratitude before God will do for me.  I need to live more thanksgiving because…

  • Thanksgiving stops pride because it makes me thankful for the little I have.
  • Thanksgiving stops self-pity because it makes me thankful for the lot I have.
  • Thanksgiving increases trust because it eradicates self-reliance.
  • Thanksgiving helps my prayer because it means Eucharist and because God “seeks a sacrifice of praise.”—Heb 13:15
  • Thanksgiving because it stops my wandering bad-thoughts, even as it makes me thankful for a lonely life.
  • Thanksgiving may even help me forgive, as I see what God has given me amidst being such a sinner.
  • Thanksgiving because it means total-reliance on the maternal-protection of Our Lady against my enemies visible and invisible.
  • Thanksgiving is our only stance before God as He gives us everything and we give Him almost nothing.
  • Thanksgiving is praising God like St. Andrew on his cross for two days before he died in Turkey, as we read in the Roman Martyrology a few days ago.
  • Thanksgiving is abandonment to Divine Providence, which may be the only measure of holiness.
  • Thanksgiving prevents any reflection of Satan’s grasping and envy (Wis 2:24) that caused Lucifer’s initial rebellion against God.
  • Thanksgiving, because lack of it is why American Catholics aren’t as happy as African Catholics.
  • Thanksgiving is not opposed to suffering, for as St. Peter wrote: “Rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”—1 Pt 4:13-14.
  • Thanksgiving, because even though I miss my Mom a lot, she seems to have died a holy death earlier this year (RIP 3 Apr 23.)

Finally, thank you to all my donors who make my life possible.