[...] Many persons try to advance in spirituality, and are held back, as it were, by some invisible hand.
The fact is, and they do not realize it, they have never been thoroughly converted to God.
They have stayed too short a time in the purgative way of the spiritual life, or they have bargained with God, and kept back some attachment…so as to be spared the pain of conversion.
Now thanksgiving swiftly but imperceptibly turns our religion into a service of love;
It draws us to take God’s view of things, to range ourselves on His side even against ourselves, and to identify ourselves with His interests even when they seem to be in opposition to our own.
Hence we are led to break more effectually with the world, and not to trail its clouds and mists along with us on our road to heaven.
[...] And what is all this but to make our conversion more thorough and complete?
Neither is the effect of thanksgiving less upon our growth than it is upon our conversion.
All growth comes of love; and love is at once both the cause and effect of thanksgiving.
What light and air are to plants, that is the sense of God’s Presence to the virtues; and thanksgiving makes this sensible Presence of God almost a habit in our souls.
For it leads us continually to see mercies which we should not otherwise have perceived, and it enables us far more worthily to appreciate their value, and in some degree to sound the abyss of Divine condescension out of which they come.
Moreover, the practice of thanksgiving in ourselves leads us to be distressed at the absence of it in others; and this keeps our lore of God delicate and sensitive, and breeds in us a spirit of reparation, which is especially congenial to the growth of holiness.
Our hearts are enlarged while we are magnifying God, and when our hearts are enlarged we run the way of His commandments, where we have only walked or crept before.
We feel a secret force in overcoming obstacles and in despising fears, and altogether a liberty in well-doing, which we used not to feel before.
[...] Our hearts are crowned with thanksgiving.
Frederick William Faber (1814—1863): All for Jesus, pp. 288-290.