Some years ago a middle-aged woman spoke with her pastor about her reoccurring feelings of depression and sadness. She said she seldom felt any joy or happiness in her life, but didn’t know why. Her pastor suggested that each evening for the next three months, she was to write two or three things on her calendar that happened that day for which she was grateful; and perhaps, by doing this, she would discover a happy surprise. The woman left, feeling rather skeptical about the assignment, but decided to do it. Each evening she would write on her calendar the two or three things that happened that day for which she was grateful. After doing this for three months, the woman gradually came to realize she was beginning to feel joy in her life again, and to her great surprise, she discovered, as have many others, that “an attitude of gratitude” is the beginning of joy.
By Joyce Iten, OSB