We've got plenty to be thankful for! For Catholics, gratitude is more than a way to boost happiness or show others we appreciate them. It's a moral imperative that keeps our focus on God, the source of all our blessings. So it only makes sense that Franciscan Media would offer several Catholic books reminding us to be thankful for all we have. Here are five of our favorites.
With Solanus Casey about to be beatified, his message of preemptive gratitude is even more poignant than usual. Author Crosby offers a detailed portrait of Solanus Casey's unswerving faith in God's abiding presence through the universe.
Essential quote: "No friar ever recalls Solanus's manifesting excessive worry, anxiety or depression. Rather they continually heard words from Solanus that manifested a deep sense of gratefulness for God's many gifts received in the past and the future. In a unique way, love and service of God and neighbor were cohorts of a life defined by appreciation, thanksgiving and gratefulness."
In this thoughtful book of essays from a young Franciscan friar, the central theme is nothing less than revolutionary. Horan explores how living as a Christian today often means appearing out of sync with the prevailing culture, and how no one knew this better than St. Francis of Assisi. (Read an excerpt here.)
Essential quote: "The simple premise here is that God’s way is not our way, God’s love is not conditioned like our love, God’s mercy is not bound as ours is, and God does not discriminate or reward a person according to the standards of a given society, no matter how widespread such criteria may be. (Thank God!)"
As the driving force behind gratefulness.org, Br. David has thought long and hard about being thankful. This book explores the spaces between the sacred and mundane, touching on topics like meditation, mysticism, and cultivating grateful joy.
Essential quote: "Try this: Before you open your eyes in the morning, stop and think. Remember that there are millions of blind people in this world. Surely, you will open your eyes more gratefully, even if you’d rather keep them closed a little longer and snooze on. As soon as we stop taking our eyesight for granted, gifts spring into our eyes which we did not even recognize as gifts before. To recognize a gift as gift is the first step towards gratefulness. Since gratefulness is the key to joy, we hold the key to joy, the key to what we most desire, in our own hands...."
In 18 chapters, King explores her attempts to live 18 different virtues, including gratitude. The results are at turns joyful and heartbreaking, but always captivating.
Essential quote: "I have even become grateful for the frigid winters I endured for thirty-eight years, because the memory of them makes California weather seem continually miraculous in a way I am not sure is possible for those who were born and bred here. I have never learned to refrain from exclaiming, “Isn’t it gorgeous out!” to natives who meet my enthusiasm with bored, blank stares. I have never quite lost the feeling of having stumbled, undeserving, upon an ever-replenishing piece of luck."
Just as Christmas now seems to begin in mid-November, this holiday-themed book of musings from the pope begins with a reflection on gratitude perfect for a cozy Thanksgiving Day afternoon.
Essential quote: "Saying 'thank you' is such an easy thing, and yet so hard! How often do we say 'thank you' to one another in our families? These are essential words for our life in common. 'Sorry,' 'excuse me,' 'thank you.' If families can say these three things, they will be fine. 'Sorry,' 'excuse me,' 'thank you.'
Pick up these and many more wonderful Catholic books in our online bookstore!