Guest Blog – Jennifer – Eternally Grateful

I listen carefully to words.  The words people use, and the words I find myself using, are endlessly fascinating to me.

Here is an example – yesterday I overheard Bill, effusive in his appreciation of help from a  work collegue  say: “I am eternally grateful to you.”

It struck me as an odd thing for him to say for two reasons –

  1. Pre-camino Bill would never have used the word “eternal” or “grateful” and –
  2. The expression “eternally grateful” itself.

How does such an expression exist in our thought processes? We, as a group of human beings believe ourselves to be finite – we are born and then we die. It’s a consensus belief, one we all agree with.  In fact we often say that death is the one thing we can be sure of.

And yet we carry this expression eternally grateful in our thought and language. But in this expression we acknowledge the opposite. We acknowledge our ability to be grateful to another person for all eternity. We say I am eternal and you are eternal.

How is it possible for us to carry an expression like this within our group thought structure?  It goes against all society’s accepted ideas of our finiteness. It denies “death” as a possibility. And yet it exists within our language.

Could it be that when we say “I am eternally grateful,” we are remembering who we truly are?

Eternal beings…?

Jesus ws


12 thoughts on “Guest Blog – Jennifer – Eternally Grateful

  1. Jennifer,
    Personally, I think it is just a way of saying not only thanks, but thanks a whole lot. But I look at life pretty simply. If I have said it, and I probably have, I do not think I was giving much thought to the strict interpretation of the words. Steve


    • Hi Steve,

      looking at life as simply as possible is the only way go. It is so interesting how much we think and say without realising.



  2. Yes, exactly- and you put it so beautifully, Jen. We are Alpha and Omega, eternal souls caught up in the casing of a body for a time, that’s all.And even the body we know now to be made of molecules which used to be stars. Not LIKE stars. Everything we are WAS part of a star, part of the universe that has no boundaries, no start or finish. We appear on this earth like incarnate blown kisses from God, gifted to enjoy this, for a time, but never restricted to it. And the things that can be most eternal in character, love, gratitude, hope and faith are carried in our eternal hearts, reminding us that once we were human, but forever the precious vision of the Divine.We are timeless.


  3. Feel free to delete comment if this is not the forum for such discussion.

    Are we really Alpha and Omega? I understood Jesus made that claim. I do not think I am God.
    Am I really a star? I always thought I was specially created by God – that humans were made in His image after he made everything else. That we are different, set apart, filled with His breath as life.

    I don’t intend to diss Sister Simon, but I do respectfully disagree. Her sentiments are warm fuzzy, and seem nice BUT they don’t sit well with me, theologically-speaking.


    • Yes, Rachel as children of God, commanded to live as Christ did, and made by the Hand of the Creator, we are alpha and omega. Think, even in the frame of strictly human experience that all we are capable of experiencing inall the possible combinations, is our personal alpha and omega. It is theologically sound. It may not rest with your personal theeology,and I respect that. But I can refer you to the appropriate theology should you want to make a study of it.Science, which I believe is the evolving gift of understanding given as God sees us able to.understand it, has proven we are physically made of molecules which used to be stars.You should be able to.find documentation of that quite easily. But thank you, Rachel, for reading my comment, and thoughtfully taking time to reply.


      • It is heady stuff, isn’t it? Just to contemplate that we might be more than we have been led to believe is challenging. Each person has their own point of view and each point of view is as valid as the other.

        Some people believe firmly in our finite nature and others think just maybe we are infinite.

        Discussion isn’t possible without differing points of view. If we all agreed I don’t think we would actually understand anything. We need each other to challenge our thinking and keep us re-examining our point of view.

        “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending…” Such an extraordinary walking meditation. I’m going to give it a go and see what change it makes in my internal landscape.



    • Hi Rachael –

      Sorry for the delayed response but Jennifer and I have been travelling.

      Absolutely this is an appropriate arena for such a discussion. If you want to post it as a topic up on the forum as well, it might provoke quite a bit of further discussion, which could be really fascinating.

      A couple of things from my point of view –

      1/ I’m out of my depth with this kind of religious discussion. 2/ I suspect that Sister Clare is quite capable of taking care of herself in any vigorous debate, so don’t worry about “dissing” her. 3/ All of us who read this blog only benefit from a cut and thrust discussion every now and then. We learn things – and perhaps what I learn is that there’s no definitive right or wrong with this stuff – there’s only personal belief, and faith.

      Thank you for caring enough to post your views in such a frank and direct way.



  4. In our earthly humanity, we are both body and spirit. Just as the Trinity of Father, Son and Spirit is a mystery which we find difficult to understand, so too is the concept of being both human with a finite time on earth, and eternal. I believe that at death, our physical body ceases to exist, but our spirit (soul) lives forever. As a Chrisian I am called to follow Christ and live in the same way as he did. the knowledge that I will be with him forever is the hope which I cling to. When a loved one dies, i know that they are physically dead but they live on in spirit. We are only passing through this earthly phase on our way to a higher place – our eternal home, where there is no pain, suffering or hatred.
    Blessings to all


  5. Just got back to this discussion. Sister Simon, anything you can throw this way, I’d be happy to read and digest. My personal belief is that we will live eternally, but that we did not exist before God created us at an appointed time. Eager to grapple with another view though! As for tehs tars, I’ll google it!


    • Hi Rachel
      The absolutely best place for you to start would be the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas.


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