No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks ~ St Ambrose
Some weeks back, a slight wind blew over and quilted unease upon me. Try as I did to part the wind and read its words, it yielded not its secrets. It troubled me enough to make me write about it to a dear friend. I thought he would have something to help me understand, bring me peace.
Instead, he gave me something surprising, better, even: Fight the dark through thanksgiving.
It was an unexpected counsel. It might have been puzzling had it not hit the mark of actual weakness in me. Thanksgiving had indeed not dotted much the landscape of my recent weeks. I had prayed. I had worked. I had petitioned heaven. But seldom had my soul bent to love through Thanksgiving.
Where is thanksgiving’s place in discernment? I believe it keeps the troubled heart from discerning wrongly. Thanksgiving is the rainblessed wind that douses the embers of trouble stoked by the dark of worry and fear. Thanksgiving pushes away the shadows of confusion, puts things into perspective. It helps us to focus on truth. It reminds us that in joy or worry, it is God who is in charge. It takes us to where the peace that surpasses understanding is Queen.
When my friend exhorted me to lift my spirit in thanks, he well knew that a soul bent in gratitude soars towards the heavens, escaping snares that seek to scare and confuse.
In seeking discernment, Thanksgiving lights the path to wisdom that births understanding.