When given some thought, thanksgiving, glory and joy abound in our lives

As published in the Northwest Indiana Catholic on August 28, 2016

 

       It is so easy to focus these days on the things that are wrong, broken and messed up. It seems so much easier to blame, criticize and complain than it is to praise, thank and glorify. Yet, the Scriptures are filled with thanksgiving, glory, joy and abundance.

       Think of Mary's Magnificat, the Psalms, Paul's Christ-centered hymns in the epistles, and the times when Jesus praises the Father and glorifies His name. To live our lives in worship, praise and gratitude does not make us naive simpletons, but rather it is a conscious choice to act and speak from a soul deeply centered in the goodness and love of God. So having said all that, here are some things I am profoundly grateful for these days and months.

       God's love for us in Christ and the promise of eternal life.

       The saving gift of the Church and the consolation of the sacraments.

       The blessed time our pilgrims enjoyed at World Youth Day in Poland this summer.

       Our Catholic Services Appeal exceeded its goal overall and in more parishes this year.

       The ministry and dedication of our priests, deacons and lay leaders.

       The recent planning meeting held and attended by just about all our priests

       The work of the diocesan Justice and Peace Commission.

       I am also grateful that:

       Our high schools are all trying to continue positive growth in so many ways.

       Many people are really excited about our upcoming diocesan synod.

       The staff members at the Pastoral Center are engaged and hard-working.

       Catholic Charities is experiencing a new dynamism and creativity.

       Our seminarians, deacon candidates and lay ministry students are wonderful.

       I have encountered love, kindness, hospitality and faith in every corner of the diocese

       I am filled with joy that:

       Thousands of our people are serving the poor, sick and suffering every day.

       The Polish pilgrimage Masses were inspiring and beautiful.

       The religious in our diocese bless us with their witness and generosity.

       The Year of Mercy has been a time of grace and reconciliation for many.

       Our St. Vincent de Paul Society is experiencing new growth.

       The Knights of Columbus in our diocese are engaged, zealous and active.

       Really, the list could go on forever! When I think of the thousands of people in our diocese who are heroically living out the Gospel on a daily basis, I give thanks and praise to God that I am blessed to serve as your bishop. In a world where so much is violent, wrong and broken, we need to celebrate the blessings, joys and graces.

       Praise God for all of you! Just think - all the sadness, suffering and complaints will one day come to an end. Our hymn of thanksgiving will go on forever!

 

      + Donald J. Hying

 

       follow Bishop Hying at twitter.com/bishophying