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" (Revelation 4.8)

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 1.11-12)

This lyrical poem celebrates God with praise, 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. Amen.



References:

St Thérèse of Lisieux, Story of A Soul

Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2626 - 2628, 2637 - 2643, 2657-2658


prepared by:

Paul Buis


(c) Paul Buis, 2005