Saying Thank You

In days of yore, i.e. when I was younger and lived in a big community, we did not use alarm clocks. Instead, a nun was deputed to go along the corridor, open the door of each monastic cell, and say to the sleepy-head within, Benedicite. To which the correct response was Deo Gratias. Thus, the first word to pass our lips was always ‘Thank you, God.’ (There were longer and more complicated formulae for certain feasts, but we can ignore them.)

For what were we saying ‘thank you’? For the gift of sleep now rudely ended? For the possibilities of the new day? Or were we simply acknowledging God as God, and thanking Him for being? I like to think the latter, because to thank God for being God implies much more than gratitude. It is an expression of love and delight, wonder and praise; and is there any better way to start a new day?

Today I hope to thank several people for gifts of books sent to mark Buy a Nun a Book Day and various kindnesses received in recent weeks. I have had to do some delving to find addresses for some; others preferred to give anonymously; but all are included in the community’s thanksgiving. It may sound a little trite — sentimental even — but I hope that our thankfulness is more than recognition of what we owe others, a kind of arithmetical gratitude without much heart. Horrible thought! I hope it is, rather, an expression of wonder and delight, an affirmation of the value of individuals and of their importance to us as the people they are.

I am sure you can guess the question with which I shall end. Whom will you thank today?

(Note: I have written quite often about St Thérèse of Lisieux, whose feast is today. A search in the sidebar search box will provide some entries for those who are interested.)

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7 thoughts on “Saying Thank You”

  1. Deo Gratias for another blog after a long day in Oxford yesterday, travelling in horrible driving conditions and then cooking supper. Always enlightening and thought provoking. Deo Gratias again. Amen.

  2. I’ve just listened to “The life scientific” on Radio 4 and the scientist was saying that one of the best therapies for depression, or whether you were a lucky or unlucky person, was to consciously say thank you for the good things that have happened each day.

  3. Deo gratias for you, dear Sister Catherine, and for the sacrifice and discipline made by you and all the other religious in houses of devotion throughout the world.
    May the Lord bless and heal you. Peace and love be with you all now and forever

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