Quotes for
the Journey:


Joy is the simplest
form of gratitude.

Karl Barth

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I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.       -G.K. Chesterton


A bag of apples, a pot of homemade jam, a scribbled note, a bunch of golden flowers, a coloured pebble, a box of seedlings, an empty scent bottle for the children. . . . Who needs diamonds and van-delivered bouquets?       -Pam Brown

I move through my day-to-day life with a sense of appreciation and gratitude that comes from knowing how fortunate I truly am and how unearned all that I am thankful for really is.  To have this perspective in my everyday consciousness is in itself a gift, for it leads to feeling “graced,” or blessed, each time. . . . Every time I see beauty around me I appreciate what I am seeing, and simultaneously I have this sense of appreciation—for being alive to have this particular moment.      -Jean Shinoda Bolen

The private and personal blessings we enjoy--the blessings of immunity, safeguard, liberty and integrity--deserve the thanksgiving of a whole life.
-Jeremy Taylor

When you cultivate gratitude, you become a happier, more fulfilled person.  The more you're grateful for, the more blessings will come to you.       -Susan Santucci

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy--they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.       -Marcel Proust

Sometimes we forget to be grateful until we survive a trauma.  For example, after having the flu when you ache all over, throw up for hours, and have little people pounding in your head with hammers, it is sheer bliss just to eat a piece of toast, walk outside without getting dizzy, and breathe fresh air.  Part of the journey toward joy involves not waiting around for trouble, but being continuously aware of our blessings.       -Charlotte Davis Kasl
We can be thankful to a friend for a few acres or a little money; and yet for the freedom and command of the whole earth, and for the great benefits of our being, our life, health, and reason, we look upon ourselves as under no obligation.       -Marcus Annaeus Seneca
Whatever we are waiting for--peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance--it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.       -Sarah Ban Breathnach

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue,
but the parent of all other virtues.


We who receive a benefit with gratitude repay
the first installment on our debts.

Marcus Annaeus Seneca


If your gratitude depends on what life gives you or what other people do for you or to you, you will be disappointed more often than you are grateful.  But you can learn to feel grateful by rethinking your attitude towards life.  First, remember that contentment lies in giving.  If you know that giving is better than receiving, then you can feel grateful for what you are able to give others.  This does not mean you ignore your own needs.  You will decide what to give and how to give it, and then at the end of the day you will be grateful for having had the chance to give in your own way.  Remember, we all have something to give, and our ability to give is not related to our finances or physical strength.       -Bernie Siegel

It was inevitable, I suppose, that in the garden I should begin, at long last, to ask myself what lay behind all this beauty.  When guests were gone and I had the flowers all to myself, I was so happy that I wondered why at the same time I was haunted by a sense of emptiness.  It was as though I wanted to thank somebody, but had nobody to thank; which is another way of saying that I felt the need for worship.  That is, perhaps, the kindliest way in which a person may come to his or her God.  There is an interminable literature on the origins of the religious impulse, but to me it is simpler than that. It is summed up in the image of a person at sundown, watching the crimson flowering of the sky and saying--to somebody--"Thank you."       -Beverly Nichols

Thou that has given so much to me, Give one thing more--a grateful heart; Not thankful when it pleases me, As if Thy blessings had spare days; But such a heart, whose pulse may be Thy praise.       -George Herbert
Blessings we enjoy daily, and for most of them, because they be so common, we forget to pay our praises. But let not us, because it is a sacrifice so pleasing to Him who still protects us, and gives us flowers and showers and meat and content.        -Izaak Walton


The art of thanksgiving is thanksliving.  It is gratitude in action.  It is applying Albert Schweitzer's philosophy: "In gratitude for your own good fortune you must render in return some sacrifice of your life for other life."
It is thanking God for the gift of life by living it triumphantly.
It is thanking God for your talents and abilities by accepting them
as obligations to be invested for the common good.
It is thanking God for all that men and women have done for you
by doing things for others.
It is thanking God for opportunities by accepting them
as a challenge to achievement.
It is thanking God for happiness by striving to make others happy.
It is thanking God for beauty by helping to make the world more beautiful.
It is thanking God for inspiration by trying to be an inspiration for others.
It is thanking God for health and strength by the care
and reverence you show your body.
It is thanking God for the creative ideas that enrich life by adding your own creative contributions to human progress.
It is thanking God for each new day by living it to the fullest.
It is thanking God by giving hands, arms, legs, and voice to your thankful spirit.
It is adding to your prayers of thanksgiving, acts of thanksliving.

Wilferd A. Peterson


Oh, Lord, I thank you for the privilege and gift of living in a world filled with beauty and excitement and variety.
   I thank you for the gift of loving and being loved, for the friendliness and understanding and beauty of the animals on the farm and in the forest and marshes, for the green of the trees, the sound of the waterfall, the darting beauty of the trout in the brook.
   I thank you for the delights of music and children, of other people's thoughts and conversation and their books to read by the fireside or in bed with the rain falling on the roof or the snow blowing past outside the window.
-Louis Bromfield

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one of them to say "thank you"?       -William A. Ward

Our indebtedness . . . is not virtue; our repayment is.  Virtue begins when we dedicate ourselves actively to the job of gratitude.        -Ruth Benedict



A single grateful thought toward heaven is the most complete prayer.       -Gotthold Lessing


I'm trying to develop an attitude that reflects gratitude for everything.  It's a strange concept, I know, because what happens when I get sick?  Am I supposed to be thankful for the sickness?  Well, when I think about it, I can be thankful that my body's immune system fights off the invading germs or virus.  I can be thankful for the time I have to recover, and the people who have spent so much time and energy doing research and development so that there are medicines that will help my body.  There was a time when pneumonia was often fatal, yet in our era we have antibiotics that kill it before it can kill us.  And there are still some countries where people don't have ready access to those medicines.  So while I may not be thankful for the sickness, I can be thankful in sickness.       -Tom Walsh


Some people always sigh in thanking God.       -Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Be grateful for what you have, not regretful for what you haven't.       -anonymous

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Gratitude is the heart's memory.       -French Proverb

I'm grateful for the opportunity to live on this beautiful and astonishing planet Earth. In the morning, I wake up with a sense of gratitude.       -Earl Nightingale
Gratitude is one of those things that cannot be bought.  It must be born with people, or else all the obligations in the world will not create it.  A real sense of a kind thing is a gift of nature, and never was, nor can be, acquired.       -Lord Halifax
The finest test of character is seen in the amount and power of gratitude we have.       -Milo H. Gates


Some people have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy.       -A.H. Maslow

We can be thankful to a friend for a few acres or a little money; and yet for the freedom and command of the whole earth, and for the great benefits of our being, our life, health, and reason, we look upon ourselves as under no obligation.       -Marcus Annaeus Seneca
These are the gifts I ask
Of Thee, Spirit serene:
Strength for the daily task,
Courage to face the road,
Good cheer to help me bear the traveler's load,
And, for the hours of rest that come between,
An inward joy of all things heard and seen.

Henry Van Dyke
If you can't be thankful for what you receive, be thankful for what you escape.       -unattributed
When you consider everything we have is a gift from God, it's amazing how little gratitude we show.  Giving to others is such a small way to say thank you.       -Charles L. Overby
Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none have a right to expect.       -Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Those who receive a benefit with gratitude repay the first installment on their debt.       -Lucius Annaeus Seneca
The more I focused on lack and on what I couldn’t have, the more depressed I became.  The more depressed I became, the more I focused on lack.  My soul whispered that what I really yearned for was not financial security but financial serenity.  I was still—quiet enough to listen.  At that moment I acknowledged the deep longing in my heart.  What I hungered for was an inner peace that the world could not take away.  I asked for help and committed to following wheresoever Spirit would lead me.  For the first time in my life I discarded my five-year goals and became a seeker, a pilgrim, a sojourner.
     When I surrendered my desire for security and sought serenity instead, I looked at my life with open eyes.  I saw that I had much for which to be grateful.  I felt humbled by my riches and regretted that I took for granted the abundance that already existed in my life.  How could I expect more from the universe when I didn’t appreciate what I already had?       -Sarah Ban Breathnach
Be grateful for yourself. . . be thankful.       -William Saroyan
Most religion is based on gratitude.  Our feelings of thankfulness for all that we have and the opportunity to live on this beautiful planet are a driving force in our lives, and our lives become something less when we start to take things for granted and not feel thankful any longer.  We lose the ability to see and recognize beauty when we're not thankful for it, and we lose the ability to enjoy music when we don't feel gratitude for the fact that it exists.        -tom walsh

Creative gratitude is an attitude.  It is magnetic and will draw good to you.  It is good therapy, a road to happiness.

Thankfulness is a way of living more fully.  Be thankful for your health and you will have health in more abundance.  Be thankful for the love you receive and it will be increased.  Be thankful for your success and you'll open doors to further achievement.  Be thankful for your friends and more friends will come to you.  Be thankful for beauty and you'll experience it more deeply.

Thankfulness is a way of enhancing relationships.   Expressions of gratitude create in others an eagerness to reciprocate.  When we become more fully aware that our success is due in large measure to the loyalty, helpfulness, and encouragement we have received from others, our desire grows to pass on similar gifts.  Gratitude spurs us on to prove ourselves worthy of what others have done for us.  The spirit of gratitude is a powerful energizer.

Thankfulness is a way of worshiping.  All through the Psalms the emphasis is on thankfulness:  "Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving". . . "Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving". . . "O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever". . . "I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart."

When Jesus healed the ten lepers only one returned to fall at the feet of the Master and give thanks to God.  With this in mind someone has written that nine were healed, while the one who gave thanks was made whole.  The expression of gratitude made the big difference.

Creative gratitude is a force for harmony and goodwill.  It brings people together in love and understanding.  It is high on the scale of creative qualities to be practiced day in and day out in our moment-to-moment contacts.

Wilferd A. Peterson



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