Posted by: Apostle John Sobottka
Today we have the privilege to follow up on the Apostle Dzur’s article of February 2020
, in which he commenced the series on the topic of “Prayer Life” by addressing adoration and worship. Today we will look at ‘thanksgiving’.
Our catechism states that ‘The figurative image of prayer as the “breathing of the soul” clearly expresses the necessity of prayer for faith. Faith without prayer is not a living faith.’ (13.1). Christ taught us to be persistent, patient, and humble in prayer.
There are two basic times that our expressions of thankfulness to our heavenly Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit take place. One occurs in every divine service when the officiant offers up the Eucharistic prayer prior to the consecration of Holy Communion, in which he expresses thanks to God for the sacrifice of Christ, the forgiveness of our sins, the sending of the Apostles, and the promise of Christ’s return. This is augmented at the end of the service with an expression of thanks for that which we have received during the service. It is our task to consciously connect ourselves to these prayers of thanks as they are prayed on our behalf.
The other continuous expressions of our thankfulness are those that we ourselves give up to the Lord. Primarily we want to express our deep thankfulness that we are children of God, that we have through the sacraments become part of the Bride of Christ being prepared by the Apostolate for the return of Christ and therefore also potential heritors of the kingdom of God. We also express our gratitude for all earthly gifts we have received such as food, clothing, shelter, and angel protection. We recognize that all things come from God and feel a need to give Him thanks for this. Furthermore, we have also made our experiences of faith for which we are thankful. In addition, we thank our heavenly Father for the continuous impulses of the Holy Spirit in our lives. These personal expressions of thanks should ‘leap from our hearts’.
Dear brothers and sisters and friends, we know that we experienced extraordinary things in the months past and that as a result of these the world has changed tremendously and may never be the same again. Many of us have had to, and continue to, live through extremely difficult situations. Some may think ‘how can we give thanks to the Lord in circumstances such as these?’ A Chief Apostle was once asked how he gets through difficult times in his life. His answer was “I stop and take a few minutes and count up, one by one, the things that I can be thankful for. After a few minutes, I realize how blessed I am, even in this difficult time. It shows me that my heavenly Father is with me and that I have much to be thankful for. This gives me the strength to continue on.” May this also be an inspiration for us.