A Week of Gratitude: Three Things Jim Manney Is Thankful for

This is a guest post by Jim Manney.

A Week of Gratitude: Three Things Jim Manney Is Thankful for

Here are three people, who stand for other things besides themselves.

Victor Martinez. He was the best hitter on the Detroit Tigers this year. He represents the great pleasure I took in baseball, and in so much else in the culture I live in: Gravity, Bruce Springsteen and Alison Krauss, The Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, the Metropolitan Opera in HD, Car Talk, novels by Donna Tartt and David Mitchell, urbansketchers.org, Viking River Cruises, Words with Friends, and, as they say, a whole lot more.

St. Peter Faber. The newest Jesuit saint stands for the riches of Ignatian spirituality. I continue to find new things along the Ignatian path. This year it was the writing of St. Peter. He wrote, “Everywhere there is good to be done, everywhere there is something to be planted and harvested. For we are indebted to all men in every condition and in every place.”

Jean Rogers. She is my aunt, a wonderfully wise and generous and witty woman, who stands for all the people in my life. Children, grandchildren, cousins, old friends, new friends, colleagues and confidants—I get together with them at weddings and funerals, holidays and cookouts, in coffee shops and restaurants. I’ll be with a bunch of them this Thanksgiving.

For all this, I give thanks to God.

Jim Manney is a popular author and editor of Ignatian spirituality books, including An Ignatian Book of Days and A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer. Manney lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A Week of Gratitude: Three Things Kerry Weber Is Thankful for

This is a guest post by Kerry Weber.

A Week of Gratitude: Three Things Kerry Weber Is Thankful For

For midnight conversations with my siblings, long after we should have gone to bed; for friends who know and nod; for the lady on the subway who lends an ear; for coworkers who look up from their computers when I have a question; for God’s willingness to put up with all of my worries and complaints: I’m grateful for people who truly listen.

For the old, creaky wood floors and the chipped paint; for the plaster falling from the ceiling and the hissing radiators; for the neighbors who never smile and the ones that always do; for the many flights of stairs and the warm light from thrift-store lamps; for the meals cooked on the giant stove, and the secondhand couch upon which friends crowd: I’m grateful for an apartment that feels like home.

For the view of the Connecticut coast that flies by as the train rolls along the tracks at sunset; for the stop signs and streetlights; for the green, rolling hills; for the bike rides that take longer than expected and that wind around horse pastures and by fruit stands; for the subway cars filled with mariachi singers; for the walks that go nowhere in particular: I’m grateful for the journey.

Kerry Weber is a Mercy Associate and Managing Editor of America magazine. She is an alumna of the Mercy Volunteer Corps and of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in New York City and is the author of Mercy in the City.

Week of Gratitude Next Week

A Week of Gratitude at People for Others

Next week, we’ll celebrate a pre-Thanksgiving Week of Gratitude. I’ve invited five of our authors to share the things they’re thankful for. The schedule is…

Monday: Kerry Weber, author of Mercy in the City
Tuesday: Jim Manney, author of An Ignatian Book of Days
Wednesday: Ellen Knuth, co-author of Love Will Steer Me True
Thursday: Richard Cole, author of Catholic by Choice
Friday: Jennifer Grant, author of Wholehearted Living

Each day you’re invited to share your moments of gratitude. But if you want to start now, the comments box is open.

Wholehearted Living

Wholehearted Living by Jennifer Grant

This is from one of our new books, Jennifer Grant’s Wholehearted Living: Five-Minute Reflections for Modern Moms.  It is the entry for November 13.  How timely is that?!

Teaching Gratitude

All sanity depends on this: that it should be a delight to feel the roughness of a carpet under smooth soles, a delight to feel heat strike the skin, a delight to stand upright, knowing the bones are moving easily under flesh. —Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

How do we teach our children to be grateful? I think one key is not to spoil them. They need to be very accustomed to hearing no. Do you remember the story of—as my daughters refer to it—‘that day Mom could only say yes’?

Walking with my girls through the grocery store that day, instead of saying, ‘No, no, no,’ to their requests for various treats, I said yes every time. It was fun for all three of us, but only because it  was so unusual.

There are plenty of special occasions when my husband and I indulge our kids, including on their birthdays. Or, to be more specific, during their ‘birthday weeks.’ On the few days leading up to their birthdays, my kids get a pass from doing their regular chores.

‘Hey, honey,’ I’ll say ‘Don’t forget to load the dishwasher.’ I’ll get a stunning smile in return, and a cheerful reminder: ‘Nope! Remember—birthday week!’

It’s the novelty of it that makes it memorable.