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What Does Gratitude Mean to Me?


By Liz Sullivan,
Director of Communications/
Executive Editor

The focus of this issue of The Valley Catholic is gratitude.

We are just days away from Thanksgiving, followed closely by Advent and Christmas; a very special time in the life of the Catholic Church.

In preparation for this issue, I have been asking co-workers and friends what “gratitude” means to them. As is typical, I received many different responses.

I then caught myself and asked:

Well … what does “gratitude” mean to me?

When I stopped to think about it, the answer isn’t as easy as it would seem. Even though every morning as soon as I wake up I write down what I am “grateful” for as a means to start the day happy and appreciative.

I also thought of many superficial things such as the 49ers football team and the memorable season they are having. Plus, the only way the Dallas Cowboys get to the Super Bowl is if they buy a ticket. And it looks like my beloved Philadelphia Eagles still have a shot at a great season.

Or how I am grateful for the love of my dog Nanook and how she wags her tail anytime I come in the front door at home.

Of course, there is the gratitude of having a job that I love and a roof over my head and food on the table.

Yet, as I have been writing this column over several days I feel like no matter what I write, how much I write, or even my feelings when I write, I haven’t answered the question:
“What does gratitude mean to me?”

Life is a journey. For me, that now seems to be a journey in search of the meaning of gratitude.

I would be grateful to hear what others think gratitude means to them. Email me “what gratitude means to me” at elizabeth.sullivan@dsj.org.
With your permission, I might include some responses in the next issue of The Valley Catholic on December 17.