Generosity and Gratitude: Essential in Living My Vocation

Today I was reflecting on generosity (charity) and gratitude; two virtues that go hand in hand, especially in my journey as a mother.  It is far too easy to let these virtues become passive actions in our lives, when really we should strive to have them daily active essentials.

“Charity is to be measured, not by what one has given away, but by what one has left.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Life of Christ)

I feel that because I am the ‘heart of the home’ I also have to be the primary example of love to my husband and children.  Too often I forget to push myself to be charitable in mind, heart, body and finances.  Too often I forget to express gratitude to God and my loved ones for the simplest things.

A friend of mine has a baby sick with cancer.  I cannot begin to imagine the overwhelming stress that the illness itself has on the family, but then to also live the stress and busy-ness of their daily lives as well.  There are 9 children in this family, and I know that if I was the mother I would feel the burden of not being able to fulfill my motherly duties in the way I used to and want to because of being at the hospital daily.  Today, I made their family a main dish, bread and muffins.  It’s a small gesture of generosity, but even seemingly small gestures have great value.

Generosity leads us to be grateful.  How can it not?  A generous heart reveals to oneself all the blessings and the good in his/her life.  By making the meal for my friends, I found myself grateful for food, for the ability to prepare meals, that my children are healthy and that I can be with them all day every day.  A grateful heart knows and appreciates one blessings and it in turns leads back to generosity: isn’t that a beautiful circle?

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