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Jun 26, 2018

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

How grateful are you in life?  Now, that question is something of a spoiler alert, as people say about movies, since the first step of the Examen is one of gratitude.  But the question can be asked not simply about your life, day by day, but overall. Do you have, as the saying goes, an “attitude of gratitude?” Thirty years ago, as a Jesuit novice, I was working in a hospital in Boston for seriously ill people.  Many of them had profound physical limitations thanks to injuries or illnesses. During my time there, I met a woman named Doris, who was severely physically disabled. Doris, who used a wheelchair to get around, was incredibly cheerful and kind. At one point, I participated in a Bible study with her and about ten other patients, and we started to talk about sacrifice. Doris said that she used to see her wheelchair as a sacrifice and a burden, but now, she said with a huge smile, she was so grateful for it, since it helped her get around.  I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve been thinking about that remark for the last 30 years. It was so challenging to me, someone who has the tendency to be focused on the negative. I’m not saying that you need to think exactly like Doris does. But I wonder if her way of looking at life might help us be more grateful. Even just a little bit.