Thankfulness and Gratitude

It is scarcely strange that thankfulness and gratitude should often be considered synonymously, since their nature is so interrelated. Certain it is that no one can ever be truly spiritually-minded who does not possess and practice both of these heavenly qualities in very large degree; and it is equally true that without both, either would be incomplete. It has been said: "Our thankfulness is measured by the number of our words: our gratitude is measured by the nature of our actions. ... Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude; gratitude is the completion of thankfulness."

Thankfulness is the mental quality which is the first spontaneous acknowledgment of a benefit received. Many are the words of thanksgiving poured forth by mankind,—thanks to God and to men for advantages experienced, for gifts received. All Christian Scientists are striving to be truly thankful and truly grateful. Many are their words of thanksgiving; but however frequently these may be uttered, the honest heart at the same time sends up a prayer that the words may not be merely lip-service, but may rather be the beginning of that gratitude which will show its appreciation of the good received by some deed of deep sincerity.

From the Directors
November 24, 1923

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