Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill
Menu

Six Basic Truths of Discipleship: Discipleship is about giving thanks

One of our greatest powers and privileges as human persons is the ability to give thanks. Each of us can turn to God, our parents, spouses, family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers and say “thank you.” We each have this capacity to reflect on our experiences and to express our gratitude. It’s an awesome ability.

Unfortunately, the power to give thanks can be a difficult virtue to nurture. At times, we would rather look only to ourselves or to our own talents. We see only ourselves as the cause of our success and accomplishments. The idea of acknowledging that we needed God or other people to accomplish a task or achieve a goal seems daunting and inconceivable. It seems a defeat rather than part of the achievement.

In contrast, discipleship summons us to a higher realization. It calls us out of ourselves and leads us to recognize the role played by God and others in our accomplishments. Discipleship gives us the freedom to offer thanks, and to be comfortable in acknowledging our need for other people and for their help.

At times, other challenges threaten our power to give thanks. In our society, the growing sense of entitlement is a dangerous spirit to our thanksgiving. Entitlement closes us in on ourselves, and demands the help of others. It asserts that any assistance we might receive is a personal right and is to be expected. Such an approach compels anger within us whenever it does not receive its assumed due.

Entitlement can smother our natural desire to give thanks. It can remove any attempt to give the benefit of the doubt to others, and it leaves no room for humble appreciation of the gifts and help offered by our loved ones and neighbors.

Our discipleship teaches us a different mind set and provides us with a wider world view. The way of life of the disciple exposes entitlement as  an enslaver of our spiritual life, and a limiter of our ability to love and live in freedom.

Our discipleship calls us to actively use the power to reflect, understand, and give thanks to God and others. It leads us to a greater understanding of life as a gift, frequently received and frequently given.

Father Kirby is the parochial vicar at St. Mary Help of Christians Church in Aiken.  






  • Diocesan Events Calendar
    View All Events
    Oct 13 Diocesan Evangelization Conference
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Oct 278:00 am Day of Continuing Education for Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Nov 1 Black Catholic History Month
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Nov 1010:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Nov 1210:00 am Junta Diocesana
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Nov 17 Diocese of Charleston Native American Catholic Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of Native American Ministry
    Nov 18 Vietnamese Martyrs Celebration
    From the Calendar of Vietnamese Ministry
    Dec 1 Black Catholics Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Dec 15 Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    Dec 25 Diocesan Television Christmas Special Fox 21
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Jan 412:00 am Class 2019 Ordination Retreat
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Jan 812:00 am Retiro Espiritual de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Jan 1210:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Feb 911:00 am Ordination of Permanent Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate