St. Louise and grateful astonishment

by | Mar 10, 2013 | Daughters of Charity, Vincentian Family

Louise de Marillac, like each one of us, had been educated in the practice of good manners. From the time that she was a little girl she had learned to express her gratitude for the favors that she received and in a friendly tone said thank you to those persons from whom she had received gifts or praise or who had showed her some kindness.

But at this specific time in her existential journey she came to a new understanding of herself and everything that surrounded her. This profound experience marks a “before” and “after” with regard to certain aspects of her personality, especially her attitude of gratitude.

We can say that it was at this time that the value of gratitude became firmly rooted in her life. …The feeling of gratitude was authentic, spontaneous and all-encompassing. Louise felt the desire to give thanks; the value of gratitude, active in her interior, urged her to be grateful for life and to be grateful for everything.

Sr. Sister Carmen Urrizburu, DC wrote the above in the context of her excellent reflection on “The Value of Gratitude” in a particular letter of Louise.

It is a profound reflection that should not be read in one sitting but rather in doses small enough to absorb and impact our own awareness of gratitude

After some very important considerations about a letter Louise wrote Sr. moves to the hear of her reflection.

Gratitude: the fruit of a heart that accepts life

In this first section she begins by reflecting on  finding, an encounter, a revelation of something that was hidden and secret, something that was unknown.

Borrowing a phrase from Chesterton “grateful astonishment”  she opens up some fundamental horizons of gratitude.

In this section she completes “Grateful people…” with 13 different aspects.

She concludes with 5 ways to live as grateful people.

She concludes with a series of characteristics of grateful people.

FOr the full text visit “The Value of Gratitude” in the Vincentian Encyclopedia.


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