5 Quotes from Church History on Giving Thanks

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“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Saint Paul, Romans 1:21)

“But as touching the eucharistic thanksgiving give you thanks thus. First, as regards the cup: We give you thanks, O our Father, for the holy vine of your son David, which you made known to us through your Son Jesus; Yours is the glory for ever and ever. Then as regards the broken bread: We give you thanks, O our Father, for the life and knowledge which you make known to us through your Son Jesus; yours is the glory for ever and ever.” (Didache)

“Let us give thanks to God continually. For, it is outrageous that when we enjoy His benefaction to us in deed every single day, we do not acknowledge the favor with so much as a word; and this, when the acknowledgment confers great benefit on us. He does not need anything of ours, but we stand in need of all things from Him. In point of fact, thanksgiving adds nothing to Him, but it brings us closer to Him. For if, when we recall the benefactions of men, we are the more warmed by affection for them; much more, when we continually bring to mind the benefits of the Master towards us, shall we be more earnest with regard to His commandments.” (John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew)

“Thanksgiving is inseparable from true prayer; it is almost essentially connected with it. One who always prays is ever giving praise, whether in ease or pain, both for prosperity and for the greatest adversity. He blesses God for all things, looks on them as coming from Him, and receives them for His sake- not choosing nor refusing, liking or disliking,anything, but only as it is agreeable or disagreeable to His perfect will.” (John Wesley, Explanatory Notes on the New Testament)

“True gratitude or thankfulness to God for his kindness to us, arises from a foundation laid before, of love to God for what he is in himself; whereas a natural gratitude has no such antecedent foundation. The gracious stirrings of grateful affection to God, for kindness received, always are from a stock of love already in the heart, established in the first place on other grounds, viz. God’s own excellency.” (Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections)

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