As we look forward to the annual celebration of Thanksgiving, I’m participating in “Worth Revisiting Wednesday” over at Theology is a Verb and Reconciled to You by sharing this post on growing in the virtue of gratitude. If you have ever watched at toddler, you will quickly conclude that gratitude is not an innate response that flows off the tongue with ease. Gratitude, like all virtues, needs to be practiced – built like a muscle through constant use and discipline.  “Blow, blow thou winter wind, thou art not so unkind as man’s ingratitude.” The past several years, our winters here in the Northeast have been particularly harsh. In the midst of those long, cold, snowy winter days,  Shakespeare’s words have taken on a whole new meaning. That winter wind is nasty. Yet, Shakespeare suggests, its bitter bite is not as wicked as man’s ingratitude. Ingratitude, it seems, has been a problem for people forever – rearing its ugly head long before Shakespeare penned those famous words. I would submit that a underlying temptation towards ingratitude was one of the reasons for Adam and Eve’s fall. If they had been truly grateful for all the Lord had blessed them with, they would have not sought after the one thing that they couldn’t have. Their ingratitude fueled their pride which ultimately caused them to succumb to the temptation of the devil.In Luke’s Gospel, we read the story of the ten lepers who were cleansed by Jesus and find that only one returns to thank him for his healing. Jesus’ response to the one leper who returned to thank him was “Stand up and go. Your faith has saved you.” (Luke 17 (11-19) Here we see another connection – this time between faith and gratitude. It was that one leper’s faith and humility that compelled him to return

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