Editors Michael Leach, James T. Keane, and Doris Goodnough have put together this handy and illuminating paperback consisting of stories, prayers, poems, meditations, insights, experiences, and practices from a top-drawer mix of spiritual writers. What is gratitude?
- "Gratitude is the doorway to joy."
— Thomas Hora
- "Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."
— G.K. Chesterton
- "Gratitude is the memory of the heart."
— Jean Baptiste Massieu
Leach, editor at large for Orbis Books, and his colleagues have divided the essays into sections on "The Meaning of Gratitude" and "The Practice of Gratitude." The writers remind us of the fruits of this practice:
- "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
— Marcel Proust
- "Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality."
— Alfred Painter
- "If we cannot be happy in spite of our difficulties, what good is our spiritual practice?"
— Maha Ghosananda
Here are some of our favorite selections:
- Henri J. M. Nouwen on how all is grace
- James Martin on rejoicing always
- Jack Kornfield with a meditation on gratitude and joy
- Anne Lamott on saying grace
- Joyce Rupp on unnoticed prosperity
- Joan Chittister on an alleluia heart
- David Steindl-Rast on being awake, aware and alert
- Mary Oliver's poem "Messenger"
- Thich Nhat Hanh on having a tangerine party
Throughout the book various people share how they say "Thank You." Included are examples from Eckhart Tolle, The Dalai Lama, William Blake, Maya Angelou, Marianne Williamson, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, G. K. Chesterton, Garrison Keillor, Irving Berlin, Marcel Proust, Michelle Obama, Thomas Merton, and more.