Thomas Creen, MJ • Phoenix, AZ

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus.

“It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.”

When studying education at Arizona State University, one of my best professors told our class of aspiring teachers that a good teacher has to be “sickeningly positive.” He said that we have to leave any personal troubles and worries at the school gate and come in with joy and optimism. Regarding one’s attitude while teaching high school students, he also suggested, “Enthusiasm…Be more enthusiastic than they are apathetic.” The Church gives similar advice.

It is so easy to be negative, critical, and pessimistic. Yet at a crucial point in the Mass, the Church tells everyone that giving thanks is not only the right thing to do or a good thing to do, but that our salvation depends on it. It is our obligation every day and in every place to do so. If I take the Church’s lesson to heart, that means I need to give thanks to God always and everywhere. It sounds like I need to become sickeningly positive and obnoxiously thankful. Oh, yes!

The best way to do so is to acknowledge the goodness permeating reality, especially in this time after our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ has already conquered sin and death – life’s two ugliest realities. I need to give thanks for the hot water this morning; for any water this morning; for coffee this morning; for air; for my fingers typing this message; for the limit of 285 words which I just passed…


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