Fr. Kovash on GratitudeDuring a retreat, Father Russ Kovash, pastor of St. Joseph in Williston, ND spoke on “Gratitude is the Virtue That Changes Us.” He shared how gratitude changed his life to the point that he now thanks God for the things he used to complain about. The transformation came eight years ago through the “rosary of gratitude” he learned from his friend Patty Schneier who had a spiritual director recommend it to her. “I won’t go to sleep without praying it now,” he said. It is simply prayed by taking a rosary and thanking God for something on each bead of the five decades — from the smallest to the biggest blessings. “When gratefulness is alive in our hearts,” Father Kovash said, “it lends itself to three fruits: a deep abiding peace and joy, a tremendous increase in the awareness of God’s crazy blessings in our lives, and those two things result in a great passion to do God’s will and build up his kingdom.”
Our ObligationGratitude is not just good for us, but God actually commands it of us, Father Kovash explained. Many Scripture passages teach us that we are obligated by God to thank him, such as 1 Thessalonians 5:18:
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.He also pointed out that in the Eucharistic prayer at Mass we say: “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right and just." Praying the rosary of gratitude is life-changing, according to Father Kovash. “There have been many fruits, and it has brought me deep abiding peace and joy in my life to see how ridiculously good God has been in my life,” he said. “I thank him today for blessings that 8 years ago I would not have even thanked him for or maybe I would have complained about them.”
Copyright 2019 Patti Maguire Armstrong
About the Author
Patti Maguire Armstrong is the mother of 10, and has a B.A. in social work and M.A. in public administration. Her newest book is Holy Hacks: Everyday Ways to Live Your Faith & Get to Heaven. Others include Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families and the Amazing Grace Series. Follow her at @PattiArmstrong and read her blog at PattiMaguireArmstrong.com.