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Generosity and Gratitude


Generosity and gratitude can be a rather tricky pair. Authentic generosity demands that we  give without putting price tags and thinking of paybacks. On the other hand, gratitude demands some form of explicit acknowledgment of the favor received. Well, it is not as if we have to return all favors that we receive, solicited or not, but at the very least, gratitude says thank you. Hmm, come to think of it, Generosity is not so shy as not to be able to deal Gratitude's simple thank-you, right?

You know what? I'm going to let the far, far better thinkers take over :-)

Of, course, there is Saint Ignatius and his Prayer for Generosity.


"Dear Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve You as You deserve:
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labor and not to ask for reward,
except that of knowing
that I am doing Your will.
Amen."

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We can also learn about generosity from the thoughts of Saint Francis. Consider this part of his famous prayer:


"... Lord, grant that I may seek
rather to comfort than to be comforted;
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one wakens to Eternal Life."

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Saint John Bosco had this to say on the matter of our gratitude to God:

"Yes, yes, my beloved sons, let us thank God. We have good reason to do so because, as you see, He has rescued us from a thousand mortal dangers. That our thanks may be more acceptable to Him, let us accompany them with a heartfelt, sincere promise to consecrate our lives to Him alone by loving Him with all our hearts, practicing our religion faithfully, observing the commandments and those of the Church, and avoiding mortal sin, which is infinitely worse than cholera or the plague."

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"[Regarding benefactors] Everything fades away, but not our gratitude. We always pray that God will abundantly bless those who have been good to us."

I guess generosity is borne out of selflessness and because it is such, it is practiced unassumingly, totally, and sans theatrical effects. After all, virtue is earned with not a small measure of inconvenience. Gratitude, on the other hand, is borne out of humility. Hence there comes forth thankfulness and the desire to openly acknowledge benefits received from God and neighbor. Even if a generous person may shun too open an acknowledgment of gratitude, he will nevertheless be joyful that a neighbor was benefited by his generous act. Joy encourages more acts of generosity. Let us not forget, too, that gratitude also encourages generosity, kinda like paying forward, right? And the cycle of generosity and gratitude goes on.  

What do you think?

Have a good Holy Week, everyone :-)      

This post was written for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

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