About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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Using the shoddiest, sleaziest material we have for the purpose of glorifying God is not very sound theology or even very good common sense. […] (In general, when you see a diminished seventh chord in a hymn, run.) And these chords are usually used in bad hymns in precisely the same order in which they occur in “Sweet Adeline.”
— Paul Hume (1956)

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The Way of Love: One Step at a Time – Day One – Gratitude for Necessities
published 19 November 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

What you will read now is part of a series of 100 spiritual challenges. Each blog can be viewed separately, but for maximum benefit a reader needs to start with the introductory blog of November 18, 2011, and then continue step by step. Day One begins on Sunday, November 20, 2011.
    [ Click here for 100 STEPS ]

Week One: Becoming a more Grateful Person-Step by Step

(Note to Reader: At the start of each week there will be a tiny teaching by Dr. Ronda about the theme for those 7 days.)


Many spiritual writers think that the key to happiness on earth is gratitude for the gifts of God. We should not be so weighed down by the crosses of life that we have no thankfulness for the gifts of God. Saints, forced into solitary confinement by their enemies, were able still to rejoice in the sight of a tiny sliver of sky seen through a window of their prison cells.

Gratitude “opens the gift.” This means that when we take everything for granted we don’t see these benefits as gifts from God. We may enjoy the good thing or person, but we don’t get the added joy of realizing that this good is a personal gift of God to us.

Day One Challenge: Gratitude for Necessities

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 92:1)

Dr. Ronda’s Example: working on the challenge of thanking God all day for necessities I started out, naturally, thanking God for the most basic things such as food, clothing, and shelter. This included my wake-up tea, prune juice (smile), and instant flavored oatmeal and proceeded to my sturdy blue denim jumpers, long cotton underwear to the good old house where I am rooming all the way to the beautiful new chapel at Holy Apostles College and Seminary where I go to daily Mass. I soon extended thanksgiving for necessities to more banal items that for me are necessities such as toilet paper. It gave me a surprising lift to fill my thoughts with such thanksgiving prayers where my mind might, instead, be filled with anxious worries.

Your examples of victories of love by means of thanksgiving for necessities:

Prayer: Dear God, I realize that because I don’t think of how You are providing for me through see the people I never see who are working hard to produce my necessities of food, shelter and clothing, I take all this for granted. May the Holy Spirit remind me moment by moment that my food, clothing, and shelter are gifts from You.

(Note to reader: Don’t get discouraged if you find that you fail to meet the challenge on this day or the future days perfectly. A marathon runner doesn’t give up if he/she trips on the path. Any failure can be the impetus to seeing how much you need to pray for help on this challenge for the future.)

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda by visiting RONDAVIEW. Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.