Mindful Gratitude

By: Kathleen Yacharn

This week, in light of Thanksgiving and inspired by Bishop Paul S. Loverde’s challenge in his Arlington Catholic Herald column to be mindful of the good things in our lives, the Encourage & Teach blog will focus on intentional gratitude and thanksgiving for the many ways we are blessed in our daily lives by God. You’ll read stories of giving and thankfulness, and hopefully, you’ll be inspired to give of your time, talent, or treasure this holiday season as a way to thank the Lord for His goodness.

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Below you’ll find a few stories from Catholic Charities’ Fall newsletter about the many ways their ministries have changed lives locally and around the world. If you’re planning to take advantage of the many Black Friday sales this year, why not also plan to honor Christ’s call to stewardship and sacrifice we heard in the Gospel this Sunday by supporting Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington in the weeks leading up to Christmas?

“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you? And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’Matthew 25:34-40

A single mom living at St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Housing :

“I’m thankful for St. Margaret’s for putting a roof over our heads and for the stability we have here. I am about to finish my job training program and start an internship. My daughter received an award at school for her grades this year, and I am beyond proud—we’ve been through a lot, and she’s everything you could ask for in a daughter.”

A couple who adopted a child through the Center for Adoption and Pregnancy Services (CAPS):

“We are grateful to Catholic Charities and to the CAPS staff and volunteers for their roles in helping us adopt our son, James Alejandro… We are grateful for the way he has rearranged our priorities. He is our first child and has turned our world upside down—in a good way!”

Can you reflect on your life and find the many ways God shows His love for you? What are you thankful for this year? You can share your story and message of gratitude by commenting below or by tweeting the Diocese of Arlington or Bishop Loverde with the hashtag #mindfulthanks.

We’ll retweet and share tweets all week long. You can read about the great ministries and events by subscribing to the Catholic Charities newsletter. To  see the Fall 2014 newsletter, check the archives the week of December 8.

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