Today, in the car, I heard Father Richard Simon (on Relevant Radio) talking to someone about the power of bringing thanksgiving to the Mass with you. I didn't get a chance to hear the whole conversation, because we returned home in the middle of it, but I got the main idea. I have heard Father Simon talk about how important it is to start out the Mass with your prayers of thanksgiving. This point that I heard today was along the same line. Basically, I think Father Simon was talking about how when there is something in our lives that we think is missing, we can feel desperate and try all sorts of novenas and petitions to God, but one thing that will help tremendously (in addition to attending Sunday Mass, getting right with God through the sacrament of Reconciliation, spending time in prayer every day) is being thankful for what you already have.
I have heard plenty about gratitude before: "If you are feeling down, then count your blessings." "Tell God two or three things you are thankful for before requesting one thing." I believe that studies have even confirmed the power counting your blessings can have on your psychological health.
All of this is a good reminder of a healthier attitude we can have about life. I have been trying to teach my son about the importance of saying "thank you" to people and to God, which has led me to put more emphasis on my own gratitude. On days when I remember to lift up my thanksgiving and joy for what I have to God, I feel better--physically and mentally. It's quite a mystery that something as simple as focusing on what we have can quell the seemingly unquenchable thirst for what we do not have.