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Message from the Minister November 2021

The Gratitude Response

What a wonderful time of year to reflect on our blessings and prepare for the many opportunities to give during the holiday season. Holding a grateful heart for all the blessings in our life will surely bring more of the same. This is the law of mind action, “thoughts, feelings and beliefs held in mind will produce more of their kind.” It is commonly referred to as, like attracts like. However, there is a deeper spiritual law at work here. The law of giving and receiving.

The first step in giving is that we must fully receive the gifts offered us with gratitude and grace. The action of holding in hearts the energy of that which has come to us allows us to experience life on a deeper level, we begin to feel gratitude for everything in our world whether big or small. In fact, as we cultivate our gratitude response, we begin to see the entire universe in each and every simple expression of life. This is the moment life returns to our awareness as a wondrous adventure rather than a trail of trials and tribulations.

For me, the key to cultivating the gratitude response was releasing expectations, releasing what I thought I wanted, needed, or deserved, releasing expectations of others and the world acting a certain way, accepting what is without attachment. The moment I cleared my mind and heart of these expectations I found something of infinite value beneath the surface of my limited perceptions. I found all the gifts I have been given were still there waiting for me in the storehouse of my inner being. Behind the veil of my fears and judgments remained the true experience of a loving universe, caring and supporting me every step of my journey, no matter how far I strayed from Truth. I found that the one thing that blocked my awareness of my blessings was only my own fearful interpretation of the world around me, and my less than generous view of myself. It was only my lack of gratitude that closed my eyes to the unlimited universe in which I live and move and have my being.

The moment I took the smallest step in truly being grateful, that bright and beautiful universe opened up to me once again as if I had never seen it before, I felt reborn and alive with glorious anticipation of the next miracle coming my way. Responding with gratitude opened up possibilities I never dreamed of before. Now, in my mind and heart, I could honestly see my purpose in the world and the gifts I had to give. This is a huge shift in consciousness, one many will still say is impossible to make; but perhaps that is why we call it a miracle.

The miracle of which I speak is the recognition that what you have to offer is exactly what the world needs at this very moment. The gift you have to offer is the one ingredient necessary for the evolution of human consciousness. The gift you have to offer is you, completely awake and aware, full of compassion and power, shining the light and being the light of the world. The big shift in consciousness comes from flipping the script on yourself from, “What do I need?” to, “What can I give?” Instead of telling the universe what you need, you are accepting you have been given everything already, and by giving it away, you realize it was within you all along.

When I respond to my world with gratitude and generosity it begins to look more like Heaven on earth, which reminds me of a line from The Lord’s Prayer, the line which says, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Isn’t that the whole point of the spiritual/religious life? You may have said those lines a thousand times; but not once did you consider it to be a real possibility. I discovered that only thing missing from the equation was my absolute and unconditional gratitude.

Always yours in Christ Consciousness

Rev. Tony