By BISHOP JOHN N. TRAN | Published March 16, 2023 | En Español
Since ordination, I have been asked numerous times by those I encounter: How is the transition? The answer: From my perspective, it is going well. However, others may have a different opinion. If it is indeed going well, then I only have God and others to thank.
I am profoundly grateful to Archbishop Hartmayer, Bishop Joel, Bishop Ned, those working at the Chancery, Msgr. Francis McNamee and the staff at the Cathedral of Christ the King and rectory and the parishioners and schools of those parishes I have had the privilege of visiting.
Hence, the question brings me back to what I consider a very important part of my spiritual life: a heart of gratitude to God and others always.
The Scriptures and the lives of the saints give us many wonderful stories of gratitude. St. Luke’s story of the healing of the lepers is one such example. St. Paul gave us these words to ponder: “Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col 3:17).
Over the years I have strived to express my gratitude in prayers to all those who made my way of life possible. I have tried not to feel that others owe me anything, but that all things I have received from others are indeed gifts.
Of course, not all gifts are the same. Hence, there have been instances in which I have been challenged to work on certain virtues in order to find peace and direction. Nonetheless, those moments too are gifts. The person who I am today is thanks to all those whom I have encountered over the years. I am truly blessed. As I remember the past with gratitude, I will do my very best to serve with joy and enthusiasm those I am given the privilege to serve in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. The truth of the matter for me is this: a heart of gratitude enables me to be more joyful, generous, kind, patient and even confident despite my failures.
May I also invite you to have as a part of your spirituality a heart of gratitude, knowing that God pours upon each of us many graces. A grateful heart is not only good for spiritual health but also good for our mental health. So, do you want to have better spiritual health and be emotionally healthier? Do you want better relationships and to be less resentful? Do you want to be less self-centered and less materialistic? How about being more compassionate and calmer? Do you want to be more joyful, prayerful and grow in holiness? If the answer is yes, for the remaining days of this season of Lent give a heart of gratitude a try in your daily living. I can assure that you, and those you encounter, will be grateful for the transition.
Bishop John N. Tran was ordained an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Atlanta on Jan. 23.