Gratitude. This is a very important word, and one we tend to forget all too often. To be technical, the dictionary defines this word as: the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Thankful, or being full of thanks, makes us appreciate everything we receive, and give that back to others in the same way. Everyone knows the phrase, "The Lord loves a cheerful giver." But, are we also a cheerful receiver? Sometimes we even feel guilty about receiving gifts or having things go too smoothly in our lives. Or on the other hand, we can take things for granted when everything is perfect.  

Here's a loaded question. Are we ever grateful for our sufferings in life? That may sound ridiculous. For suffering taken in itself is not a good thing. However, we know that when united to Christ's sufferings on the cross, they bear much merit and fruit in our lives. Everything we suffer in this life for God becomes a glory for us in the next. 

If you haven't already read it, I highly recommend "Joy in Suffering." It is a novena booklet by Bishop A. A. Noser according to St. Therese. Here is a quote of St. Therese from the book. "It is such a joy to think that for each little pain borne with joy, we shall love God more throughout eternity." We should not only accept our crosses each day, but actually be grateful for them because they will help us love God better. 

I am terrible at this myself, but it is a great goal we can all shoot for. Now, I started this post about gratitude, and I end up talking about joy in our sufferings. But, gratitude does lead to joy. When we are thankful for everything God has given us in our life, we are truly happy. And we find ways to be content and peaceful about our life and its difficulties. 

The inspiration for this post came from seeing my website/blog reach 2,000 page views today. I especially want to thank all of the viewers and readers out there. Many people probably reach that number in a few days or a few weeks. But to reach that in four months feels really great to me. I hope everyone has enjoyed reading the posts over the last few months. I certainly enjoy writing them! Keep on reading!

P.S. I am now at page 100 in my first novel. Shooting for July to finish! You can look forward to a good, lighthearted mystery novel filled with suspense and fun! And lots of suspects!