The Gratitude Project: Week One

This week has been emotionally taxing for much of the world. It seemed as though every day brought a new tragedy, which ushered in a new wave of sadness and grief.

In times such as this, it can be easy to give way to doubts, despair, and worries. It can be difficult to come up for air and recognize simple, small blessings. Gosh, it can be difficult to find God Himself in the midst of the tragedies we are witnessing – or, perhaps personally experiencing.

This week, as I surveyed the news and grieved with, and for, families impacted by violence in this world, I felt a gentle tug on my soul.

The words, We know who wins, entered my thoughts.

Many people may ask, “Where is God,” or, “Why does God let this happen?”

I would reply God is present, and in the midst of the pain and suffering.

Echoing the words of Mr. Rogers, God is in the helpers…

He is in the hearts of those in pain…

He’s with those experiencing their tragedies…

He’s there – experiencing it in real-time, with us…

He’s there, ready to comfort us if we turn to Him.

The second question is more difficult to answer, simply because…

 …sometimes, the best answer is no answer at all.

Just an acknowledgment of the pain, a cry with the person experiencing pain, or a shoulder to offer… those can sometimes be answer enough.

Other times, we must acknowledge God has a foe – hell-bent, literally, on bringing man down… Satan, the devil, Lucifer, Prince of Darkness… take your pick on his name. Satan is determined to stop. at. nothing to try to accomplish his mission. He will use any means necessary – from terrorism, to drug use, to child abuse. He will use the lure of power, sex, and money. Literally, the lead demon will stop at nothing to try to get us to stop acknowledging God. He will ratchet up instances where we are fearful, anxious, and worried, in the hopes we will turn from the One who will ultimately prevail against Him…


Satan will use darkness and secrecy to make us doubt the existence, and even the mere power, of his foe… Our Almighty God.


Therefore, this week, I am most grateful for the gift of hope…

Hope in a better future, hope that love will conquer all, and hope in the belief and knowledge that we know who wins this war. At times, it may feel as though Satan, formidable foe that he is, is winning the battle; but, we know who wins the war.

And, there is comfort in knowing God wins.

So, as I round out my first post for The Gratitude Project, which I promise will not always be so heavy, I encourage all of us to shine the light of our lives into the darkness we find in our pathways.

And, take a moment and place (or, replace) our trust, faith, and hope in the One who Was, Who Is, and Who Shall Be… Forever. Our Lord, God. Father of us all.

Finally, if you are so inclined, please join me in reciting the beautiful prayer to St. Michael, the Archangel:

St. Michael the Archangel,

Defend us in battle,

Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.

May God rebuke him we humbly pray,

and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,

cast into Hell, Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world, seeking the ruin of souls.


As always, let me know in the comments – what are you grateful for this week? And, feel free to follow along with this project on social media, using the hashtag #bctgp, and letting me know throughout the week as you identify a blessing for which you are grateful!

Until next week, dear reader…

14 thoughts on “The Gratitude Project: Week One

  1. This is so beautiful! I’ve been sick all week but I am so thankful for modern medicine and knowledge of natural medicine to compliment it. The pregnancy takes a lot of cold and allergy meds off the table, but this would be so much harder without the tools we do have!

    1. I understand completely! I know how grateful my pregnancy-time colds have not slipped into sinus infections because you are correct – pregnancy takes a LOT of meds off the table! Sending you gentle hugs, and speedy recovery prayers and wishes for you!

  2. Lovely reflection and what a great reminder to cling to the virtue of hope. I’m grateful for a God who I believe weeps with us in tragedy, who smiles and laughs with us in times of joy, and who brings comfort to us in times of struggle and distress. I’ve felt a heaviness and darkness this week and God has been so present to me and our Blessed Mother has, likewise, come to my aid. So, these are the things I choose to focus on being grateful for this week.

    1. Great things for which to be thankful!! I agree that sometimes the heaviness can be so unbearable, and yet – maintaining hope we aren’t carrying the burden alone is so powerful!

  3. I am grateful for my caregiver who helps me with my husband who is on hospice, for my sister who is stepping out of her life to care for her grandkids while her son is on a Navy sub, and for all who keep us in prayer. I’m also grateful for my mom who celebrates 92 years today and is still teaching me through her love to co-residents, nurses, cna’s and all staff at the Nursing home where she’s lived with Alzheimers for the past 6 years!

    1. What a beautiful, amazing list of things for which to be grateful! I love that you have such an amazing amount of support for you – and, that your sister is able to care for her grandchildren while her son serves. Wonderful support is always AWE-some.

      Thank you so much for responding, and please thank your nephew and his family for his service (and supporting his service)!

      Have a blessed weekend. 🙂

  4. Hi Anni. I am so grateful to God for so many things. As I try to pin point just one, it is very hard, but after thinking for a while, I am grateful for my grandaughter asking me for “an hour of God” as she put it. It wasn’t exactly an hour but it was a lot of questions that she had about God, and to see the profound look on her face as we spoke was so enlightening to me. I trully am grateful that my 13 year old grandaughter took the time for these questions.

    1. That is absolutely AMAZING!! What a beautiful treasure, especially at her age, to really want to take that time to ask about God… and, to watch the spark of the Holy Spirit come alive as she listened to answers. Such a beautiful moment to treasure, for sure!

      And, I am happy that you are able to identify so many instances for which to be grateful – I really hope you’ll stop by weekly to share your ‘it’s grateful moment/s of the week with me.

      Thank you so much for sharing this week!

  5. I’m grateful for being alive. After that, anything extra is gravy.

    Good point, about “who wins.” I generally put it a little differently.

    Shifting perspective a little, we know who won: past tense.

    God won. We won. The war is over: thanks to what happened about two millennia back now. What we’re in now is the mopping-up phase of the conflict. It’s messy, we don’t know how long it will last, but again: We won. The war is over.

    If that sounds familiar, I’ve said it a few times before.

    1. But, I would assert the war for souls still wages!

      Yes, we do know Who won; yet, we also know Who will win the ultimate battle for souls.

      And, being grateful for being alive is definitely a good thing! 😊

  6. The prayer to St. Michael is one of my favorites. When I feel weak or discouraged, it always helps me. And I love Mr. Roger’s comments…”God is in the helpers.”

    1. I Prayer the Prayer to St. Michael *most* nights before bed. Never thought about it during the day for some reason! And, I agree – Mr. Rogers’ mama was a wise woman… I think he always attributed that quote to her.

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