New Day, New Blessings

To say that I love being a high school chaplain is an understatement.  As I walk the halls of La Salle Academy, I’m often reminded of the verse from Psalm 16, “He has put into my heart a marvelous love for the faithful ones who dwell in his land.”  I truly love the students that the Lord has entrusted to my spiritual care.

As a “father” to the students, I often challenge them to think and act differently.  So, for example, recently a student was in campus ministry and she expressed that she felt unhappy because it was a Monday!  Her feelings were not unlike many adults that wake up on Monday mornings with a feeling of discontent because it’s a new day (or new week) with new worries.

So I challenged her to wake up in the morning with a new attitude.  And I’d like to propose the challenge to you too: What if, instead of waking up with the attitude that it’s a new day with new worries, we wake up with the attitude that’s it’s a new day with new blessings.

Each and every day the Lord blesses us.  But oftentimes we fail to notice those blessings.  This is the wisdom of the daily examen that St. Ignatius of Loyola proposed.  St. Ignatius encourages us to begin our prayer in gratitude to God for the blessings we’ve received during the day.

Now, I can hear some readers protesting, “Father, this is sappy and a totally unrealistic approach to life.”  Really?  Then why do the saints suggest it to us?  Remember: a lot of people think that saints are unrealistic; but they are the most realistic of all!

Look, there are always going to be problems, and it’s unrealistic to avoid them; but this isn’t about avoiding them, it’s about having a different perspective so we can be more aware of the blessings that God gives us each day.

Here’s my suggestion: Each morning when you awake, get on your knees and thank the Lord for another day and for all the blessings he’s going to give you.  Spend more time in gratitude for your blessings than worrying about your problems and you’ll be more peaceful.

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7 Responses to “New Day, New Blessings”

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  1. gloria najim says:

    It is good to be reminded that we need to Thank God daily for all his blessings. We spend way too much time asking and very little time thanking. God Bless you Fr. Najim, you are one of my many blessings!!!!

  2. Claire says:

    I have to agree with Gloria. You are one of my many blessings. I am thankful that I can get out of bed and step on the floor each morning! Now you want me to kneel! How will I get up? :-)
    Blessings from one of your Spiritual Moms

  3. Dympna says:

    You’re right Father! Starting the day by giving glory to God lifts the day right out of the rut.
    Your students are so fortunate to have you as their chaplain. God bless all of you!

  4. Pedro says:

    This is a great post, Father Najim. I totally agree with you that our society conditions us to believe that Mondays are bad and Fridays are good. In reality, every day should be good, as you state. We will either have good things happen to us or learn some lesson from what seems to be a not very good occurrence. I also agree with you that we take our blessings for granted many times, and this shouldn’t be. Yes, if we focus on gratitude, instead of on our problems, this will help. I will follow your very good suggestion and kneel down every morning to thank the Lord for another day and for the blessings He is going to give me that day. I would like to share an affirmation that I really liked. “I know that God has only good prepared for me, so I greet each new day with anticipation.” Thank you very much for your post.

  5. Anna Kowalczyk says:

    Thank you Fr. Michael

    this post brings joy of living back to my life.
    First thing in the morning, thanking the Lord for the just past night and thanking Him then for whatever the new day will bring – I am filled with joyful anticipation and reinforced/ reminded of trust … Jesus, I Trust in You.

  6. Judy murphy says:

    And the research shows that having an attitude of gratitude is healthy for both body and spirit.

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