Thursday, October 20, 2011
Attitude of Gratitude
Is it just me or does it feel like the Earth is spinning at a faster rate than ever before?
I just can't seem to keep up with "everything" that I used to...
There is so much to do in the home, so much to do at church, so much to do outside the home, so much to do to prepare our souls for eternity, so much to do, period.
Lately, it's been getting the best of me and those overwhelming clouds of gloom set in...Darkness ensues.
How quickly I forget the simple cure...An Attitude of Gratitude...A light begins to flicker.
One of the evening prayers from last week (Magnificat) reminded me that the central core of our Christian spirituality consists of an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude that we owe for God's faithful love. The central core part really struck home. I have always known the importance of thankfulness but I can't say that I have thought about it exactly in that way...the central core of my faith. I may be revealing my ignorance but I do so at the expense of my own self pride...Not a bad thing to expose and weed out:) And so I ask myself how do I "do" this two-sided coin as the central core of my life? (1.Turning to God in Thanksgiving and 2. Doing for others what has been done for us)?
I was reflecting on all of this as we took the opportunity to go on a field trip this week.
I love field trips!
~Mission San Juan Bautista~
15th California Mission
This mission was named after St. John the Baptist since it was founded on his feast day. It was built in less than 6 months, which was record-breaking speed. This shed new light on my whining about "so much to do." I began to imagine the hard physical labor that went into these adobe structures and suddenly my own work seemed dull in comparison. I just love how God provides us a new perspective, just when we need it most! Field trips and a little sunshine have a neat way of providing fresh perspectives too:)
It was a glorious day for a little time out. Did I tell you I just love field trips? One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the freedom to "go see it" after reading or studying about something. I think it's especially fun, when studying your State's history. It's always a bonus when we have the whole place to ourselves on a Tuesday...We gave thanks for the beautiful sunshine, a cool breeze, and peaceful setting.
I am particularly fascinated by the history of the California Missions so I think our family has actually seen most of them...Out of the 21 Missions, I think we are only lacking visits to 2-3!
~I love this Mission garden...
Each arbor contained a Station of the Cross~
We were joined by the local mission chickens and cats, who both live peacefully together, by the way.
Isn't this a beautiful walk for an outdoor Stations of the Cross?
Most of the time we try to take field trips as a family. Due to other circumstances this time, I just took the 2 elementary kids. It was different with just the 3 of us but it ended up being great quality time! We all really enjoyed it:)
I loved this rustic Cross...The best reminder to be thankful.
I thank you, Lord, with all my heart,
you have heard the words of my mouth.
In the presence of the angels I will bless you.
I will adore before your holy temple.
I thank you for your faithfulness and love
which excel all we ever knew of you.
On the day I called, you answered;
you increased the strength of my soul.
This Mission has one of the largest churches with 3 aisles, instead of 1 and is still an active Parish. It was a bonus and joy to pray before the tabernacle on very old and hallowed grounds. We should always be reminded that "Eucharist" is the Greek word for "Thanksgiving."
We enjoyed finding the animal prints on the church floor tiles. As the clay tiles baked in the sun before they were laid in the church, a few friendly animals made their "mark."
This cross marked the spot of the last Native American to pass on from the local tribe.
Thankful for all those who have gone before us, marked by the Christian faith.
The views of the farm land were glorious from this perch.
Now thank we all our God,
with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done,
in whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mother's arms
has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in his grace,
and guide us in distress;
And free us from all sin,
till heaven we possess.
The field trip for the kids turned out to be a field trip for my spirit.
I shall continue to work on thankfulness as the central core of my spirituality...
Especially on days that I collapse into bed at night, worn out and exhausted from the dealings of the day;
Even when I can barely make it through the Apostles Creed of my nightly Rosary;
Despite the Earth that spins faster than I can keep up,
an attitude of gratitude keeps the fire burning in my soul,
saving me from the snares of myself,
keeping my eyes fixed on the light... the porch light of heaven.
"Be THANKFUL. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly."