Letters to Young Girls

16 - Gratitude: “The Sign of Great Souls”!


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PUBLICATION DATE

21 . 03 . 2024

Rubric

Letters to Young Girls

16 - Gratitude: “The Sign of Great Souls”!

Author

The Daughters of Mary

16- La reconnaissance : « l’indice des grandes âmes »!

Dear Friend,

Mathilda is in the greeting cards section and is looking for a thank-you card she could send to Colombe. She wants something that is very nice, delicate, unique. After having looked at a few different ones, she hesitates and then chooses a card which she thinks will please her cousin. The price on the back is a bit high, like all the other cards, besides.

Bouquet de fleur-aquarelle

Of course, Mathilda would prefer keeping her spending money to buy something for herself, but this time, she thinks it’s important to let Colombe know how happy she was over the recent invitation made to her and her friend Sophie. Mathilda enjoyed her weekend at Colombe’s so very much. And, after their supper, the dear Colombe even went to the trouble of taking them to a very interesting presentation. It was an introduction on how to make soaps at home. What had she not done to make sure her companions had a very pleasant stay!


A grateful person can do so very much good! In fact, have you ever noticed how we can be happy, pleased and stimulated to become better when someone takes the time to thank us for our kind deeds, for our efforts or our generosity?

However, there is much more than that, for the person who is able to express her gratitude reveals what is hidden in her innermost being: an openness and an attentiveness towards others, a wonderful sensitivity and a richness of soul. What lovely jewels for a young girl destined to cultivate love and develop the good sides of her personality!

The person who is able to thank is not focussed on herself. Without taking it for granted that she is owed something, she can look elsewhere than at herself in order to recognize the benefits she receives, the generosity, the kindness and the love shown her by others, as well as their time or attentiveness in listening to her. She leaves no room to selfishness and her ability to give thanks gives her an inner beauty that makes her likeable. Such a person does us good and we naturally like her.

On the other hand, the ungrateful, selfish person who thinks the world owes her everything is hard to support. Being difficult and demanding, we turn away from such a person. Her ingratitude hurts and makes us suffer.

It is good to always offer thanks for a kind thought in our regard or a gift we receive. We can do so in person, in writing or, as Mathilda did, by giving a card or something else. Moreover, should a gift disappoint you or not be what you were expecting, the generous gesture or the expression of love of the person who gave it to you is what you must consider and bring out with gratitude.

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Get in the habit of saying “thank you” as soon as the opportunity arises. A friend listened to you, a kind person helped you advance, understand, or lent you a helping hand, some interesting information was sent to you…, send a short e-mail to thank them. There is no need for something poetic, just something simple. So, if an aunt or your grandparents living far away send you a birthday card by mail, a telephone call would be appropriate to thank them for their kind thought. And your parents shouldn’t have to ask you three times to do this. In such cases, one’s shyness must be overlooked.

Above all, be attentive to what your mother and father do for you every day and get into the habit of thanking them often. Don’t wait for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day to do so. A good meal, the buying of a piece of clothes or a necessary item, trips to drive you here and there… Acknowledge their devotedness, and the expression of your grateful feelings will do them much good and alleviate their tiredness.

Of course, our gratitude must also be expressed to God who is so good and attentive to each one of us. He fills us with so many blessings, in times of joy but also when bearing the cross. Marie-Paule wrote to a member of the Marian Group: “I see, in the present letter, your grateful soul; yes, gratitude is the sign of great souls.” (Lettres de Marie-Paule à Fernande Levasseur, p. 315)

Be one of those great souls who humbly knows how to thank, and by seeking what makes it happy rather than what is lacking it, your heart will be inclined to happiness.

                                                                                               The Daughters of Mary


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