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Fathers and Spiritual Writers on Gratitude

Let us not grieve that One Who showed us unceasing love and affection with transgressions, murmuring, disobedience and various forms of sin, but as grateful servants let us strive to give rest to the bowels of His mercy, so that He be consoled, as the psalmist said: "He will comfort Himself concerning His servants" (Ps. 134/5:14 LXX). REF:Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"

 

... he who has received a gift from God, and is ungrateful for it, is already on the way to losing it ... St. Peter of Damaskos (Book 1: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, The Philokalia Vol. 3 pg. 187)

 

... when God is thanked, He gives us still further blessings, while we, by receiving His gifts, love Him all the more and through this love attain that divine wisdom whose beginning is the fear of God (cf. Prov. 1:7). St. Peter of Damaskos (Book 1: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, The Philokalia Vol. 3 pg.199)

 

...gratitude is a form of intercession. Only it must not be like the gratitude of the Pharisee, who condemned others and justified himself (cf. Luke 18:11). On the contrary, it must make one regard oneself as a greater debtor than all other men; one gives thanks in astonished bewilderment because one understands God's unutterable restraint and forbearance. St. Peter of Damaskos (Book 1: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, The Philokalia Vol. 3 pg. 187)

 

...gratitude is a form of intercession. Only it must not be like the gratitude of the Pharisee, who condemned others and justified himself (cf. Luke 18:11). On the contrary, it must make one regard oneself as a greater debtor than all other men; one gives thanks in astonished bewilderment because one understands God's unutterable restraint and forbearance." St. Peter of Damaskos (Book 1: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, The Philokalia Vol. 3 pg. 187)

 

Gratitude from the receiver incites the giver to bestow gifts greater than before. He who is ungrateful in lesser things, is false and unjust in greater. the Monks Callistus and Ignatius (Directions to Hesychasts no. 16h, Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart; Faber and Faber pg. 187)

 

When evening comes, collect your thoughts and ponder over the entire course of the day: observe God's providential care for you; consider the grace He has wrought in you throughout the whole span of the day; consider the rising of the moon, the joy of daylight, all the hours and moments, the divisions of time, the sight of different colors, the beautiful adornment of creation, the course of the sun, the growth of your own stature, how your own person has been protected, consider the blowing of the winds, the ripe and varied fruits, how the elements minister to your comfort, how you have been preserved from accidents, and all the other activities of grace. When you have pondered on all this, wonder of God's love toward you will well up within you, and gratitude for his acts of grace will bubble up inside you. John the Solitary, The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life

 

...he who has received a gift from God, and is ungrateful for it, is already on the way to losing it..." St. Peter of Damaskos (Book 1: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, The Philokalia Vol. 3 pg. 187)

 

Freedom from anxiety makes it (the heart) rejoice and give thanks; and the grateful offering of thanks augments the gifts of grace it has received. And as the blessings increase, so does the thankfulness, and so does the pure prayer offered with tears of joy. Slowly the man emerges from the tears of distress and from the passions, and enters fully into the state of spiritual joy. The Philokalia, Vol. III - pp. 260 - 263.


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