As our national holiday of Thanksgiving is here, we can reflect on thoughts of St. Jane de Chantal regarding the spirit of gratitude.
“Generally we ought to treat all sorts of persons with an extraordinary suavity and cordial respect, but especially those from whom we receive particular assistance and proofs of friendship, returning always great gratitude for even a small benefit done to us.”
And as St Jane’s thoughts were never very far from those of St Francis de Sales, she goes on to remind us, “ And in this gratitude we ought to be conspicuous, as true Daughters of our Blessed Father, who of all men in the world, was the fullest of gratitude and affability towards all sorts of persons. He obliged everybody, and made use of nobody more than was necessary; and he did this in order to help and relieve his neighbor.”
St Jane summarized these thoughts. “ In short, we must recompense and acknowledge the benefits we have received, at least by gratitude and praise given cordially , but without exaggeration.”
“We ought to imitate our Holy Father and particularly with respect to our Benefactors, and especially the Religious Houses from which we receive great spiritual and temporal assistance. We ought to try, if the place allows of it, to render them the services in our power, such as getting their sacristy linen mended and washed, doing work and starching for them, and providing the starch and little things necessary and all other assistance, by which we may make some return for their charities.”
My God, how full of gratitude and acknowledgment ought Superiors and Monasteries who have Foundresses be toward them, trying to give satisfaction to their minds, and every reason to be pleased, treating them with openness, cordiality, and confidence, so that they may never feel disgust, or repent of the charity they have done. Much respect must be shown them, according to their rank and age.”
Source: “Answers” St. Jane de Chantal