Have An Attitude Of Gratitude
Some 25 years ago, I heard a never-to-be forgotten homily given by Father Dudley Day, OSA at the Funeral Mass of Father Tom Nash, OSA. He said, “When we ate out, at the end of the meal, Father Tom always asked the same question, ‘did the waitress receive enough gratitude?’”
As teenagers in the 1930’s Father Tom and I caddied at the Beverly Country Club, Chicago. We caddies gave Tom, as we knew him then, the nickname, “Darbie”, a special name that stayed with him through his priesthood. He always had a crease in his pants, a clean white shirt and his hair was combed smoothly every day. As a caddy, Tom knew the value of a “tip”, then something like a quarter! Most of the time we received no tip and were left with 95¢ for our 5 hours of work. He carried this “attitude of gratitude” into his later life.
Tom went on to become a distinguished teacher in the Augustinian Order, known and loved by all for his kindness and gentleness.
Since hearing Father Day’s homily, I must honestly say that every time I have eaten out, Father Tom’s words have come back to me, “did the waitress receive enough gratuity?” When I paid the bill, I gave her much more than the usual 15%. I have never been short of money. In 2014, waitresses only receive $2.30 an hour.
One day, Jesus cured ten lepers of their loathsome disease and only one came back to thank Him. He said, “Where are the other nine?” Are we saying “thanks” often to Him for the many gifts He gives us? When the rain and the storms are beating at my windows, I feel safe and secure inside. The memory of my time in India, on a block in the slums of Calcutta, where 50,000 people live in one room habitats, with leaky tin roofs makes me feel so grateful to God for His gifts of security and safety.
If someone asked me, “What gift can I give to young people, even grammar school children on some special occasion?”, I would say, “Give them a box of thank you cards and envelopes.” Tell them to use these cards for any gift they receive – no matter how small it is. What a blessed attitude for these young people to carry into later life. When I give gifts to young people, I am encouraged to continue this if I receive a word of thanks from them. Jesus of Nazareth says the same message: “Thank me and I will increase my gifts to you!”
At the dinner table, join hands together and give thanks to God for the rich delicious food in front of us. Thousands of children die every day due to malnutrition.
Hold on to this motto always: “have an Attitude of Gratitude.” Say “thanks” often every day to others and to God. In that spirit, thank you for reading this bulletin my dear friends.
Fr. George Mc Kenna