Sometimes the circumstances of our lives don’t allow us to see the beauty there is, and in our worst moments, we may even wish we had never been born.
However, God has placed us on this earth for a reason and we are entirely dependent upon him for everything. We may not always enjoy our lives, but it is a gift, nonetheless, a gift we should cherish.
When we recognize our life as a gift, we are more willing to give it to others and see every moment of our lives as an opportunity to do good in the world.
St. Francis de Sales wrote a short guided meditation on the gift of life in his book Introduction to the Devout Life. It is a beautiful reflection, one that we should go through on a regular basis, fostering gratitude in our lives for the gift of life God has given us. Here is an excerpt from that meditation.
Place yourself in the Presence of God. Ask him to inspire your heart.
Consider that but a few years since you were not born into the world, and your soul was as yet non-existent. Where wert thou then, O my soul? the world was already old, and yet of thee there was no sign.
God brought you out of this nothingness, in order to make you what you are, not because He had any need of you, but solely out of His Goodness.
Humble yourself utterly before God, saying with the Psalmist, O Lord, I am nothing in respect of Thee — what am I, that Thou shouldst remember me? O my soul, thou wert yet lost in that abyss of nothingness, if God had not called thee forth, and what of thee in such a case?
Give God thanks. O Great and Good Creator, what do I not owe Thee, Who didst take me from out that nothingness, by Thy Mercy to make me what I am? How can I ever do enough worthily to praise Thy Holy Name, and render due thanks to Thy Goodness?
Thank God. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and praise His Holy Name with all thy being, because His Goodness called me forth from nothingness, and His Mercy created me.
O my God, I offer Thee with all my heart the being Thou hast given me, I dedicate and consecrate it to Thee.
At the end of your meditation linger a while, and gather, so to say, a little spiritual bouquet from the thoughts you have dwelt upon, the sweet perfume whereof may refresh you through the day.