Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
“Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience.”
From: Thomas Merton
Does not the gratitude of the dog put to shame any man who is ungrateful to his benefactors?
The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.
From: Henri Nouwen
Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.
From: John Milton
Perhaps nothing helps us make the movement from our little selves to a larger world than remembering God in gratitude. Such a perspective puts God in view in all of life, not just in the moments we set aside for worship or spiritual disciplines. Not just in the moments when life seems easy.
Check DisciplesWalk.org for a few comments on Nouwen’s perspective.
Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received.
Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling.
Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.
From: Henry Van Dyke
I believe that gratitude is a spiritual discipline on the order of prayer, study, service, etc. God wants us to be thankful, not for His benefit, but for ours! The more grateful we are the closer we draw to God who is the source of all blessings. Our annual celebration of Thanksgiving should be a time when we strengthen the bond between what we are, or what we have, and God’s blessing in our lives. We should become more deeply aware of how greatly God has blessed us.
From: Terry Ellis, “Forever Thankful,” http://gracewavestoday.com/?p=1349
“O give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1
The dominant characteristic of an authentic spiritual life is the gratitude that flows from trust – not only for all the gifts that I receive from God, but gratitude for all the suffering. Because in that purifying experience, suffering has often been the shortest path to intimacy with God.
From: Brennan Manning
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
From: Gilbert K. Chesterton