I saw this heading to a post yesterday, Gratitude Conquers Envy, and understanding lit my mind.
Almost 2 years ago, I had a dream. It was of the colleague at work who had hurt me very deeply and continues till this day. In the dream, she was at her desk beside me and all around us were odd, yet perfect boxes, almost the size of shoe boxes, tightly packed with brand new books – except that interiorly, I knew that they weren’t books. They were memories of everything I had done for her in our 20 plus years of knowing one another. Memories packed tight into light, perfectly made mud-coloured boxes. My colleague was at her desk, with a pen in hand, writing on each of those boxes.
In thick, black, fancy classic script, she was writing, Thank you, on the inside of those boxes.
And I knew immediately, with neither joy nor relief, that it was directed to me.
Some time after the dream, I went to Confession to a visiting priest to our parish. I confessed about my struggles with anger and my difficulty loving those at work who hurt me. I didn’t provide Father with any details of my work situation; instead, focusing on my sins and weaknesses.
But the priest had looked deep into my eyes, hearing in his heart words I had not given him. And he understood why I was being attacked.
It is due to jealousy, Father had said that day.
That illumination had shocked me to the core, that jealousy could wreck such cruelty.
But today, the memory of that dream lifts another face towards me. That of the Thank you. The power of gratitude to bend a soul to humility. To heal it of every trace of envy and jealousy.
We often take gratitude for granted, assuming it’s a virtue we either have or do not possess. However, I have had one spiritual experience, in church, of being pierced by an invisible arrow of gratitude and thankfulness, to learn that it is also a grace. Some of us might have been born to be grateful and thankful. Some of us lack it. And some of us barely possess it. So, what if God was now asking me to pray for the oil of gratitude to heal jealous hearts?
A few days ago, I had written that those ruled by jealousy needed to make the effort to cleanse themselves of this ugliness. While that is certainly true, I think God is now telling me, No, that’s not all. You can do something else too.
This Lent, He wants me pray a very specific prayer of healing. To pray for the grace of gratitude, that jealous hearts be healed by it.
Because gratitude conquers jealousy.