The Lens of Gratitude

By Phil Bolsta

It is a virtuous circle. The blessing of God’s perfect care naturally elicits gratitude; every expression of gratitude heightens your awareness of God’s presence; the stronger your attunement with Divine Consciousness, the more you recognize life’s blessings.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the
parent of all the others.


Nurture your gratitude practice by carrying a gratitude icon—a rock, coin, or other small object—in your pocket. Every time your hand brushes against it, express gratitude for whatever you are experiencing in that moment.

For Zen students a weed is a treasure.

Shunryu Suzuki

If you are in a grocery store, give silent thanks for the food that sustains you. If you are walking with friends, tell them how much you appreciate their friendship.

God makes three requests of his children: Do the best
you can, where you are, with what you have, now.

African-American proverb

Before long, expressing gratitude becomes a habit. Eventually, it becomes innate and you instinctively view every experience through the lens of gratitude.

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was,
“thank you,” that would suffice.

Meister Eckhart

A gratitude habit generates countless reminders each and every day that you are amply wealthy in all the ways that matter most.

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace
before the concert and the opera, and grace before
the play and pantomime, and grace before I open
a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming,
fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace
before I dip the pen in the ink.

G. K. Chesterton

Inevitably, you find yourself expressing gratitude not only for what is in your life, but what is yet to come.

We give thanks for unknown blessings already on their

Sacred ritual chant

With increasing frequency, you marvel that every breath you take is a direct gift from God.

Gratitude, like faith, is a muscle. The more you use it,
the stronger it grows.

Alan Cohen

This excerpt is from Phil Bolsta’s book, Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World. To order your copy, click here.

Email Phil at to request for free the entire chapter, “Ask and You Shall Receive.”



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This article appears in: 2018 Catalyst, Issue 23: Thanksgiving and Indigenous Wisdom