Where there is sadness…JOY
I attended a Saturday workshop at Terre Haute Regional Hospital with brilliant scientists and medical professionals who were speaking about one remedy improving the health of patients — gratitude. More specifically patients were required to journal their individual gratitudes, no gripes allowed, and good health ensued. Gratitude is a secret source of joy. Let me prove it, do this one experiment. List something new you are grateful for in your “Gratitude Journal.” For example today I’m grateful for my breathing lungs, tomorrow I must enter something new into my Gratitude Journal. St Paul tells us in Thessalonians 1 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you” (1thes 5:16-18). This is why many grateful saints have been found kissing their own way of the cross. Padre Pio said, “many suffer, but few know how to suffer well.” How few of us thank God for the everyday stuff, and how even fewer move on to thank God for the difficult stuff.
“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” –Karl Barth
Martin Seligman, a professor of psychology at University of Pennsylvania has made great strides in cognitive psychology or how our thoughts, especially our inaccurate ones, affect our emotional life. For example, the cover girl who thinks she is ugly because of her big feet. We can warp our own minds with these twisted thoughts that have no truth in reality. Professor Seligman recommends a “Gratitude Night”. Invite over an honored guest whom you have never properly thanked. The group of people all give testimonials of gratefulness toward the person. For both the givers and receivers this becomes a powerful and emotional experience for all. St Francis admonishes us today, “where there is sadness … (we Franciscans must bring) Joy!!!!!” Gratefulness will always overpower toxic thinking, then we can move on to happy healing!!! This Lent I’m going grateful and leaving behind those poisonous thoughts!!!!