It’s the week before Thanksgiving and the first thing I want to say is… thank you. I want to share my gratefulness for you being there, for you being part of The Deeper Connection community, for you praying with me wherever you are in the world. I am truly grateful to be connecting with you,
But sometimes gratitude doesn’t rise that easily, does it? Sometimes it feels like there’s something blocking our gratitude. Maybe it’s quite obvious to us, it could be a trauma or a crisis or an illness of a loved one or maybe something’s not going well at work, whatever it might be.
Perhaps life is going along quite simply and calmly and we do feel that gratitude more readily. Whatever it is, it’s okay. It’s all okay, because whatever and whenever you don’t feel that gratitude, you can ask for it. Simply ask God. “You know what? I”m not feeling grateful right now, but I would truly like to… I would like to receive that from you.” Ask for it and God, who has created this benevolent universe for you, will pour out gratitude into your heart.
Sometimes it’s a matter of just looking at the small things. Maybe the big things are not going well, but perhaps it’s the small things that we so take for granted… even just having food in our refrigerator, or hot running water… or heat… or that we can get up and stand up on both feet and walk… or that you can watch me right now, we can hear our friends, we can hear the cries of our grandchildren. Whatever the simplest thing is, sometimes just settling on that and just recognizing that and receiving that is enough.
So today, I’d like to pray with you and I’d like to pray a prayer I adapted called the Prayer of St. Francis, and I would like to share it with you if you would pray it with me, wherever you are. I don’t have it memorized so I’m going to read it, but if you would just open up your hearts and minds. I always say that’s the foundation of prayer because it is. It’s not so much our words, but the positioning of our hearts.
So just be wherever we are. Let your presence be in the presence of a living God.
Breathe a nice, deep cleansing breath. Close your eyes. Just feel yourself in this space and let us share these words together:
My God, Source of Life. Source of Love. May I be your messenger in a world that is in desperate need of you. May I be an instrument of your peace in a world filled with division and discord. May I bring love in the midst of anger and hatred and may I bring compassion and understanding where there is hurt and suffering. Where there is doubt and fear, cause my faith to rise up. Where there is despair, may I be a voice of hope. In darkness, may I bring light and in sadness, may I bring joy. Divine Master, rather than seek my own comfort and consolation, may I show mercy and be a comfort to others. Rather than needing to be heard, rather than needing to be right, may I bring patience, understanding and a willingness to listen. Rather than seeking to be loved, may I be love. I know that all I desire is already provided for me and that it is in giving, that we receive. In forgiving, that we are set free. And in dying to self, that we are born into our true, eternal life.
Let it be so. Let it be now. Let it be.
Who is Maria?
Maria Gullo is the founder of The Deeper Connection, a ministry dedicated to bringing individuals to inner peace. She is an ordained minister and has spent the past twenty-plus years delivering the message of contemplative Christian spirituality through centering prayer, retreats, workshops, and lectures. Maria’s guided prayer and meditation tools include audio downloads and CDs, available here online as well as on the Insight Timer mobile meditation app. Learn more about Maria.
Maria offers virtual online and private one-on-one Spiritual Direction sessions to help individuals develop a deeper connection, clearer understanding and authentic relationship with God, self and others.
Maria wants to hear from you! Tell your story or where you are in your journey.