The Gratitude List – 2011 (Including Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll!)

December 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Conversion, Culture, Faith, Family

As a grateful convert, I’d like to offer a short and completely non-exhaustive list of things and people on my gratitude list for the past year, in no particular order:

1. The marital act. That’s right kids, sex between your parents and blessed by God is the way you came into being. It’s a beautiful thing – and cheap imitations will never measure up.

2. Serious medication. Yep, drugs can be good, particularly the type that have helped Kathi’s migraines this past year. They’re not perfect, but they sure beat the alternative. Good job, greedy drug companies.

3. Christian rock. Having grown up on secular (and now “classic”) rock, I appreciate the broad spectrum of talented Christian artists such as Switchfoot, Downhere (a Canadian contribution), Jars of Clay, and Third Day, among others.

4. Great Catholic authors and bloggers. As a newbie author this year, I have needed plenty of advice, and these folks (and others) have been most generous. I really appreciate it. A special thanks to Dr. Bert Ghezzi and fellow OSV authors Brandon Vogt, Dr. Kevin Vost and Eric Sammons.

5. Speaking of OSV, Our Sunday Visitor is fantastic. They just released my first book, Faith at Work: Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck. What an awesome organization, I can’t say enough about the OSV team.

6. Another great organization – The Coming Home Network International. It’s a privilege to work with Marcus and the staff, what a terrific apostolate. Many thanks also to EWTN, our faithful broadcasting partner for so many years.

7. Family and friends. Kathi and our eight kids, our parents, Kathi’s grandmother Ruth, Uncle John, the list goes on and on. Family is a great gift, even when we drive each other nuts. Friends old and new, including Mike Aquilina, Randy Hain, Matt Swaim, Dan Burke, Mark Shea, Pat Madrid, Shane Kapler, the Columbus Legatus group, the St. Gabriel Catholic Radio family in Columbus (now on AM-820!), it’s a long list. Thank you.

8. The sacraments. What a great reason to be Catholic. I’m a fan – in particular, I love the Eucharist, but penance and marriage aren’t far behind.

9. The Church. Kathi and I will celebrate twenty years as Catholics this coming Easter – what a phenomenal gift. As I tell my kids, it doesn’t make life easier, but it sure gives it purpose.

10. The Lord. He is the creator of life, the purpose of our existence, our means and our end. I’m eternally grateful to Him above all.

So what’s on your gratitude list for 2011?

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6 Responses to “The Gratitude List – 2011 (Including Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll!)”
  1. Kevin,

    You have a great list going on there! I can think of little to add because most of the things I am grateful for would fall under your categories somewhere. I thank God every day most especially for my faith, my family, and my friends. If I consider those things at more than a surface level, there are so many blessings that spawn my gratitude.

    Consider the freedom, joy, hope, and love that arise from a somewhat humble attempt at surrender to that faith I mention above…and imagine the possibilities of a truly humble and totally self-giving attempt to be faithful! How do I possibly get there? Still, I am grateful for my meager progress.

    How about the ecstasy and agony of family life that give way to a stronger personal constitution and a much deeper blessing of faith when we “embrace and offer” it all up? (Didn’t you just mention this in a recent blog posting?) For growth, I am grateful.

    And then the friends…the spice and icing to the cake! What a gift beyond measure they are to the infrastructure of ordinary lives! Each comes to us at a particular time bearing unique gifts, fit just as we need. Some bring challenges and some bring sheer joy, but nonetheless they are gifts and we need them for a particular reason. Like you, I include our marvelous Legatus friends on my list. What a great group of people! I am also excited to welcome you to the St. Gabriel Catholic Radio group of friends! I have never worked with a better bunch! They are a true and great blessing in my life! And for my friends of old…they have blessed my life for many, many years and have never turned away. They have been there through thick and thin for longer than I care to admit.

    My list seems not to be a list but rather a musing. This time of year does that to me and I know I could go on and on and on. Just one more thing, if you will allow, after I mention my gratitude for food, clothing, shelter, automobiles, computers and internet, heating and air conditioning, chocolate and an occasional glass of wine. My list would not be complete if I did not mention my friends and family who have passed on! They were a blessing to me when they walked this earth, and now they bless me from above! My brother, Jim, passed away 5 years ago tomorrow. My brother, Jack, passed away a little over three months ago. My father has been waiting for them to join him since July of 1997. And, my friend, Lisa, moved on February 14 of this past year. They have taught me lessons from beyond the grave that I could never have learned while they were with me. As difficult as it is to admit when I long so desperately for their physical presence, I am grateful for their love and support from above!

    May your blessings and gratitude continue to grow in 2012! Happy new year!

  2. Kevin says:

    Mary Ann, very well said! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. You have added many good things, and it occurs to me that I should have included the occasional Canadian beer!

    Hope you have a wonderful New Year!

  3. Brandon Vogt says:

    Thanks, Kevin! I’m grateful for your friendship, too.

  4. Vicki says:

    Thanks for giving me a different perspective on looking back at the last year. It was a super hard year with lots of loved ones who passed away, most especially my 18 yr old nephew. So this will help me focus on the good and the bad. Thanks!

  5. Cathy Dee says:

    Thanks for the props, Kevin! We think you are awesome too. Blessings for the new year!

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