Do I have to be grateful even in tough times?

The importance of being Thankful in all circumstances
by Monica Elisa Perez Lopez | Source:

Be always very grateful”… In my ears I can still hear this phrase from the Servant of God, Fr Pablo Maria Guzman MSpS, Founder of the Eucharistic Missionaries of the Most Holy Trinity, a beloved congregation where I discerned about my vocation so many years ago.

   Among others, this particular phrase is marked in my soul since then and it has been part of the woman in which I become since then. I never forget to give thanks for everything and to everyone, and I try to actually mean it every single time. By practicing this in regular basis, I discovered through Fr Pablo's advice what it means to be grateful…

   What I have learned is that it makes you humble, as every single time you say “thank you” or “thanks” and try to mean it, you realize that you actually need others help, and at the same time, you recognize that no one has an obligation to help you and still… there is someone helping you, another reason to be thankful, not just for the good they make to you but also for them willing to help. When you practice constantly giving thanks to people around you, the truth is that you say it A LOT and then you realize there is something more great than simple favors received from random people every now and then… there is something more and then you think it must be God, therefore you say a little prayer only to say “Thank you Lord!”.

   How beautiful it sounds, right? Everything is good and so you discover God and say thank you to him, but... the truth is that life is never that easy, and among the good things that we want to thank God, there are always bad ones that hurt your soul, sometimes more frequently than what one wish, and then… frustration and rage and anger and resentment take place in our heart, mind and soul, and being realistic, the least we want to say in our prayers is "Thanks".

   This morning I was struggling with this kind of situation, not long ago I was thrilled and thankful to God because after several years of spiritual desert Our Lord gave me something related with my apostolic life that I was asking for so long, and I felt it was a blessing at that moment. Somehow, as it usually happen in the apostolates, things started to go from bad to worse in a couple of days and yesterday finally I broke, and cried like a baby the whole night long… I felt disappointed, discouraged, heartbroken, and I wondered if I had been foolish to thank our Lord in the beginning before I knew what was to come… how stupid I felt for being so naive…

   I was immerse in those thoughts until this noon when a beloved friend came into the chat asking me about a number in the Catechism he needed in Spanish, I grabbed my Catechism from the shelf where I keep it, I opened it and looked up the number and read: 2648 Every joy and suffering, every event and need can become the matter for thanksgiving which, sharing in that of Christ, should fill one's whole life: "Give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thess 5:18).

   Suddenly, a lighting struck me… yes I have yet to grow in so many aspects… yes, I am weak and I can’t stand on my own… yes, I still need to be more humble and ask constantly for God’s help… yes, only Christ knows what I am going through, and yes, even when it is tough and the world seems to fall apart, I’m never alone and for that reason I MUST thank the Lord and join my thanksgiving to that of Christ, for that fills my whole life.

   There was my answer, even in tough times when doubt and pessimism blur your thoughts, even in times of hard decisions that are to be taken, even in time of suffering, pain or illness, or even when all of this strike at once your life, there is someone who has already suffered for your sake and only because he loves you. And if you are able to realize that, and realize that he is watching over you and taking care of you in such a loving way despite all the bad things that are happening in your life… then you will turn around your eyes and you will find your answer too… you will find Christ with his arms wide open in a Cross dying for your love and for your eternal happiness…

   … thanks be to God for his many blessings!

Happy Thanksgiving Day from all of us at!

It is a blessing to serve you day by day and I thank the Lord from the bottom of my heart for that.

May God bless you all!

Monica E. Perez Lopez

Editorial Director / English Section

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