unstained gratitude

Today, I had an honest epiphany:

There has never been a time in my life when I have been able to look back on the previous six months of my life and say ‘thank you’.

I have always held some sort of grudge against life. There has always been some unanticipated crisis, negative feeling, or unresolved anxiety that has not allowed me to be totally thankful for my experiences. Whenever I come to the verge of true gratitude, I abruptly remind myself that my life has not unfolded quite exactly as I had hoped.

Even in postulancy, where I have had so many tremendous experiences of growth & grace: even here, I give into the temptation to discard my time as being ‘wasted’. Even in the midst of this wonderful opportunity, I still try and look to the ‘grass on the other side of the hill’. I’m afraid to look at the grass beneath my feet, because I am afraid that I will discover that I am standing on barren ground.

But today, I am committing myself to gratitude. Without the fullness of my experience of pain, I would not be the person that I am today. From now on, I am looking back on my life, with all of its sorrows and joys, and raising my glass: l’chaim (to life)!

 

Brother Joe Babcock, ofm cap

A native of Port Washington, WI, I am a friar-in-formation for the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph (Midwest USA). Click here to read more...