Praise, Thanksgiving, and Joy
"Let us come into His presence with
thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise
to Him with songs of praise!" (Psalm
95.2) In the worship of God, praise, thanksgiving,
and joy join together in a singular upward
movement of the heart. The Spirit descends
to join with us in song. Our spirits unite
with the Holy Spirit, in communion with all
of heaven, in celebration of God's glory.
We anticipate eternity as we sing in God's
presence, joining with the heavenly host
in the eternal hymns of praise: ""Holy,
holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who
was, and who is, and who is to come"
We praise God for who He is -- our awesome,
loving Father! He gives us the gift of His
Son that we may be redeemed from our sins
and share in His glory. His Spirit unites
Himself to us in the purity He has placed
in our hearts that we may taste of His grandeur
in praise of His glory.
In praising Him, we cannot help but give
thanks for the blessing we receive in the
gifts of grace upon grace which He showers
upon us. "Blessed be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed
us in Christ with every spiritual blessing
in the heavens." (Ephesians 1.3)
God is most worthy of all the praise, thanksgiving,
and joy our hearts can muster. "When
you praise the Lord, exalt Him as much as
you can; for He will surpass even that. When
you exalt Him, put forth all your strength,
and do not grow weary, for you cannot praise
Him enough." (Sirach 43.30)
We approach Him with a spirit of reverence
and awe, maintaining an attentive heart in
His presence, particularly as we adore Him
in the Eucharist. In adoring God as our Creator
and King, we remember our own place as lowly
mortal creatures before Him. With adoration,
humility is strengthened within us, thanksgiving
flows naturally, and joy wells up from deep
within our hearts.
There are moments in life in which joy is
scarce and gratitude is hard to come by.
St. Paul counsels us to look to God with
thanksgiving even in difficult moments, trusting
that God always provides what is best for
us, and that the strength of His love will
never fail: "In all circumstances give
thanks, for this is the will of God for you
in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5.18)
St. Thérèse of Lisieux provides an example
of striving to have a cheerful disposition,
even in the most difficult times: "There
are people who make the worst of everything.
As for me, I do just the contrary. I always
see the good side of things, and even if
my portion be suffering, without a glimmer
of solace, well, I make it my joy."
(Story of a Soul) In difficult times, praise
strengthens our faith, gratitude buoys our
hope, and joy animates our love.
Our lives lived in Christ, according to God's
will, become a banquet of praise, thanksgiving,
and joy. For this reason we were created:
"In Him we were also chosen, destined
in accord with the purpose of the One who
accomplishes all things according to the
intention of His will, so that we might exist
for the praise of His glory." (Ephesians
This lyrical poem celebrates God with
thanksgiving, and joy.
Worthy Of All Praise
With glory, praise, and honor,
We celebrate our God:
To Spirit, Son, and Father,
We sing with joy and laud.
All heaven joins in the song,
As hearts are lifted high
To the heights where we belong --
Heaven and earth draw night.
He is worthy of all praise,
All reverence and awe;
Mere mortals -- how we dare gaze
On Him Whose heart we draw.
When trials do assail us,
We strive to see His hand:
His power will avail us -
In Him, our hope is grand.
With praise, our faith becomes strong;
We hope with gratitude.
In joy our love lifts with song -
Laud is our attitude!
Holy Spirit, teach us to praise
The Father and Son at your side;
With joyful voices, hymns we raise
To You with whom our hearts abide.
St Thérèse of Lisieux, Story of A Soul
Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs
2626 - 2628, 2637 - 2643, 2657-2658
(c) Paul Buis, 2005