The Grateful Heart

A grateful heart is a glad heart; and a full measure of gratitude happifies, purifies, and heals. What is there about gratitude of such wonderful import that it heals the sick, cheers the disconsolate, and cleanses the thought? A dictionary defines gratitude, in part, as follows: "Warm and friendly feeling toward a benefactor; kindness awakened by a favor received;" while grateful is defined, in part, as "willing or glad to acknowledge and repay, or give thanks for, benefits." In the light of Christian Science teaching, gratitude takes on a higher and more spiritual meaning, and may be defined as an expression of love for God, good; or, desire awakened to know God aright and to serve Him always.

It is clearly seen that gratitude always implies appreciation of good, or a recognition that some good has come to us or to others. And must not all good have its source in God, since He is infinite good? Therefore, because gratitude is a recognition of good, and God is good, it follows logically that gratitude is a recognition of God. And what is the result when one thus recognizes God? Does not a change take place in his thinking? Are not the contemplation and fear of evil, and the false belief in a power apart from God, dispelled in proportion to his recognition or understanding that God is the creator and sender of all good, and only of good?

Think what this must mean to the one who is unhappy, sick, sinful, or burdened with grief, failure, or discouragement! In the midst of his problems he remembers to be grateful. Perhaps he is grateful because his problem is no longer difficult; or it may be that he has some understanding of Christian Science, and is grateful to know that there is the right, harmonious, ever present solution to every problem, that in reality his troubles are just so many lies about God and His perfect creation, disappearing as naturally and as necessarily as do all lies, once the truth is understood and demonstrated. Or, if his own lot presents such a miserable aspect that he sees nothing about it for which to be grateful, may he not then profitably turn his thought away from self, and be grateful that some friend or neighbor enjoys happiness, health, harmony, and success? In the face of adverse circumstances, let there be gratitude; and in so far as it is gratitude for good, it is gratitude to God, the recognition or understanding of Him; and the heart is gladdened thereby. The Christian Scientist has reason always to have his measure of gratitude full to the brim, for has he not learned and proved in many experiences, as Mrs. Eddy says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 466), that "Truth is real, and error is unreal," because God is All-in-all; that His wisdom never errs; that His love is infinite, felt by every receptive heart?

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"Teach us to pray"
October 25, 1924

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