The Greatest of Virtues

Dear God, Universe, Being, All-That-Is, Creator, Great Force, Life, Spirit, Lord, Almighty, Yahweh, Source, Nameless Formless Essence of All Things (or whatever you personally call it),

We would like to take this opportunity to express heartfelt gratitude for all of the blessings in our lives. We know that we experience countless blessings of abundance each and every day and acknowledge that we often forget to recognize them all and feel the gratitude deserved. Today we praise You, this magnificent Life Force that has provides us this bounty today and every day. Today we send love, light, and gratitude to You, all of our loved ones who cannot be here with us, all members of our community, and to all of those who participated in the process of creating the glorious meal that lay before us.

Thank you for the clean air that we are breathing and the trees, plants, and water that cleanse and nourish it.

Thank you for the seeds, the givers of life that miraculously knew how to take the blessing of water and the love of the sun and transform themselves from tiny nuggets of possibility into the delicious grains we are enjoying or that were fed the turkeys that lay today on our Thanksgiving tables.

Thank you to the farmers who sowed the seeds and the generations of agricultural pioneers that have perfected the art cultivating the fertility of Your land.

Thank you for these beautiful vegetables, rich with vitamins and minerals to nurture our bodies, and the workers who harvested them. Please bless these men and women and their families with abundance and love on this day, and every day.

Thank you for this turkey (or tofurkey) and the circle of life, the cycle of energy, that we consume today, and thank you for the hands that fed, watered, and tended to its needs.

Thank you for the sun, the nutrients, and the rains that fed the plants and animals and brought them life.

Thank you for the truck drivers who escorted this bounty and the mechanics and factory workers that helped produce the machines involved with production and transportation.

Thank you for the owners and stockroom and sales personnel at the stores who organized and sold use these nutritious goods.

Thank you for the family members or friends who lovingly purchased, cooked, and/or delivered this delicious banquet to our table today.

Thank you for those who set the table and prepared this lovely setting for us today.

Thank you for these amazing people with whom we are blessed to share this moment.

Let us not forget the countless people whose time and energy go into creating, not only this meal, but all material comforts and services that we enjoy on a daily basis. Let us rejoice in our collectiveness, knowing that we are deeply interconnected—both in our myriad forms of mutual interdependency and in our Oneness. Let us remember this day, and every day, that we are extensions of Your light, and help us illuminate those we touch and those beyond our reach with our joy, peace, and gratitude.

Thank you for this Life we share.

Thank you.

Thank you.

By Jonathan Matthews

Gratitude is the foundation for a joyful and abundant life.

Gratitude is not merely the greatest of all virtues, it is the loving parent of all others. Yet, this important state of emotional consciousness is often sidestepped on the path of personal development. Without gratitude—or being thankful—our spiritual path will not be complete. Why? Because without the unceasing prayer of gratitude, or thankfulness, one does not experience all the beauty and abundance that life has to bestow upon us.

Regular engagement in a gratitude practice will heal the mind and regulate the ego.

When engaging in gratitude, it is impossible to simultaneously suffer or be upset. Without the gratitude attitude, one walks around just partially alive. The truth is, the more thankful we are, the more good things that will come our way!

Appreciation is directly related to gratitude, and if you consistently look for something or someone to appreciate—even in difficult situations—you can expect your life to change for the better. When you are actively attuned to gratitude and appreciation, you will inevitably discover more of the same for yourself. It is a formula for bringing much joy, optimism, peace, abundance and harmony into your life. As a result, you won’t have the time or desire to worry or think about the negative!

Remember, though, that silent gratitude does not benefit the world at large. When you actually EXPRESS appreciation to others, then both you AND they are blessed. What you give to another you give to yourself. Why is that? Because we are truly one; we are NOT separate. When we truly understand this—not intellectually but experientially—the ideas of compassion, love and caring become natural and very healing for all humankind. Service to EVERYONE becomes a way of life and can bring global peace and happiness.

“When I give to you, I give to myself.”

I pray this saying becomes more than just a slogan in our world. If we truly realize that gratitude is a positive force of transformation—one that can be shared wholeheartedly and unconditionally—we are building a foundation for a more joyful and abundant life.


Jonathan Mathews is a spiritual coach and writer in St. Petersburg, FL, and a long-time A Course in Miracles student. His new book, “Divine Mastery” Your Guide to Living the Life God Intended, is now available on Amazon. It is a no-nonsense, easy-to-read guide that is short and to the point—a practical companion to live your life by. Jonathan also facilitates a group study on the book The Way of Mastery, which was channeled by Jesus. You can reach Jonathan at or call 865-247-8036 for a free consultation.


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