Everybody wants to be appreciated. We all don’t crave center-stage limelight where we are the focus of much fanfare, however even the most introverted person wants to be loved by someone else. A baby cries out for attention as do we all, in our own ways. When we are denied any recognition, we are usually disappointed and might even feel forgotten and depressed. Human nature is a condition that enjoys nurturing from birth to grave. Compliments are both the ingredient for growth and, when sarcastic, a gross insult. They praise and honor the ego when heartfelt, honest and true. God doesn’t need anything, however He desires certain things because it is His nature of pure love. Giving God glory, praise and honor is the perfect way to connect to His awesome divinity!
A dear friend revealed an emotional, personal experience to me recently. Dave was speaking of a time that he believed were the last moments of his dad’s life as he was alone with him in a hospital room. He became overwhelmed with sadness and frustrated with his own helplessness. Powerless and heartsick with worry about a loved one and seeking God’s intervention, we want results as we plead for the healing comfort that Jesus has to offer. Sometimes we might even wish a bargain could be made with God; having the illness or pain transferred from a loved one to ourselves. Anyone who has lost a loving parent can appreciate the powerful emotions Dave felt. He cried out to God in his despair and God spoke in a whisper. “Praise Me” were the two words that came to my good friend. What a strange thing for God to say at this time or so it seemed. My friend opened his Bible randomly to Psalm 148, which tells of all of creation praising, honoring and glorifying the Creator and has an underlying message that all is well. What a powerful and impressive way to let a child of God know that the Heavenly Father rules in majesty. Abiding peace and spiritual comfort washed over my friend as the Holy Spirit touched his heart and soul with the knowledge that Jesus is with him and his dad always.
“The Lord lifts up all who are falling and raises all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look hopefully to You, and You give them their food in due season; You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is just in all His ways and holy in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him, He hears their cry and saves them” (Ps.145: 14- 19)
God is almighty. We are in the best place possible at all times if we are worshiping Him in thought, word and deed. God is love. We were made to know Him, to love Him in return and to serve Him. How can we strengthen this holy bond that is so strongly desired? Recognition is the way to accept any gift and the best “thank you” has a price attached. Giving credit where credit is due is not always easy because it sometimes means that we are not number one or the only game in town. When we submit to God we give up control of many things and that is hard for some. Perfect acknowledgement of God results in the created giving all the credit to the Creator, therefore a glorious shout is only natural as praise and thanksgiving create a divine relationship. God wants to receive our worship and friendship as we offer our very selves back to Him that made us.
Oh yes! You might say, all that is well and good for someone else but I want more than “Pie in the Sky”. Giving thanks to God is easy when we benefit from a personal miracle… and you have. Jesus once met ten lepers who shouted to Him. “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” They wanted a personal miracle and pleaded with the Son of God and got what they wanted, however only one of them, realizing that he had been cured, came back praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself on his face at the feet of Jesus and spoke His praises. Only one of ten acknowledged God’s gift with loud praise. What happened to the other nine? How many today accept their personal gift of God’s Son? The Precious Savior agonizing from one position of terrible searing pain to another, hour after hour, nailed to a rugged cross on a hill outside Jerusalem to demonstrate the great love God gives us all. Jesus was tortured beyond description, rejected and abandoned by all but His mother and a friend or two. How many give God what He wants from us? Glory, praise and honor are the best way to say, “Thank You – Jesus” for the forgiveness that only You could obtain for me.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heavenly host;
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.