10 Ways to Become a More Grateful Person

i-am-gratefulIn everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Gratitude is a topic that is discussed mainly around Thanksgiving, but it’s such an important part of life – shouldn’t we give it more attention?

Gratitude has always been a central aspect of the Christian life: Scripture mentions gratitude and giving thanks to God many times, and even the word “Eucharist” is a Greek term that means “thanksgiving.”

But how do we make gratitude a central part of our lives? How can we grow in gratitude?

On his show last week, Phil Sandoval discussed gratitude, its benefits, and simple ways to practice gratitude. During this discussion, Phil referenced Dr. Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Emmons has spent 15 years studying gratitude, and has collected a large body of scientific data that shows how gratitude has the power to transform lives. Below are some suggestions on how to become a more grateful person, based on Dr. Emmons work:

1. Make a gratitude wall: Designate one wall in your home, office, or classroom to place pictures of the things you are grateful for.

2. Use social media as a gratitude journal: Gratitude journals have shown to be good for psychological and physical health. But another option is to use social media as a gratitude journal. Use Instagram to post pictures of what you’re thankful for, or things that remind you of reasons to be grateful. Use Twitter to post about things you’re grateful for, and use a specific hashtag (i.e. #gratefultweet, #gratitudejournal) so you can go back and remember how blessed you are.

3. Model gratitude to your children: Dr. Emmons says, “You cannot give your kids what you yourself don’t have … Virtue is caught, not taught.”  Show your own thankfulness toward your children and other people and they will see that gratitude is important. (more…)

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Pope Francis announces Holy Year of Mercy

Photo credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Photo credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Catholic News Agency reports:

During his homily for a Lenten penitential service, Pope Francis announced an extraordinary Jubilee to start at the end of the year, which will be dedicated to a theme close to the pontiff’s heart: mercy.

“Dear brothers and sisters, I have thought about how the Church can make clear its mission of being a witness of mercy,” the Pope told attendees of his March 13 penitential liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica.

“It’s a journey that starts with a spiritual conversion. For this reason I have decided to declare an Extraordinary Jubilee that has the mercy of God at its center. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy.”

The biblical passage for the Holy Year’s theme is from Luke Chapter 6 verse 36, in which Jesus tells his disciples, “Be merciful as your Father is merciful.”

“I am convinced that the whole Church will be able to find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and making fruitful the mercy of God, with which we are all called to give consolation to every man and every woman of our time,” Francis said, and entrusted the Holy Year to Mary, Mother of Mercy.

More details at Catholic News Agency.

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Why we do what we do…

jpii-francisIf you’re a long-time listener to Immaculate Heart Radio, you have undoubtedly noticed that we’ve made many changes to our programming over the past few months. Maybe your favorite show has moved, or gone away. We want to give you an idea of why that happened, and why we’re doing what we are right now.

Over the years, the #1 concern that listeners have communicated to us over and over is that their children or grandchildren have drifted away from Jesus and His Church. We’ve heard your cries and we know that your family and friends can be reached and brought back.

This is exactly what St. John Paul II had in mind when he called for a New Evangelization years ago. In recent years, we have seen Pope Francis reach and engage those who have been away from the Church for some time. In addressing what matters most in their lives, Pope Francis has caught the attention of many non-practicing Catholics.

Immaculate Heart Radio’s mission is to reach and engage non-practicing Catholics – the unconvinced and the unconverted.  We’re trying to bring them back to the faith. We’re doing that by meeting them where they are, talking about the things that are important to them, and offering common-sense Catholic solutions.

To do this, we have launched several new programs that are intended to reach both practicing and non-practicing Catholics and even beyond, all the while faithfully transmitting the Catholic Faith. Below, Immaculate Heart Radio founder and president, Doug Sherman, shares the heart of our mission.

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