All that we behold is full of blessings. ~William Wordsworth

Today marks Day 30 of my Grateful Tweet exercise. The idea behind this Twitter campaign, and the subsequent use of the hashtag, #gratefultweet, is simple. Before launching into a day of social media filled with posts ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, the first tweet of the day should be in thanksgiving. [read more about it]

I know of the importance of gratitude, particularly when it’s difficult to be grateful. I’d say its importance increases with the level of difficulty we’re encountering.

St. Paul tells us to “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Sure, St. Paul, easy for you to say, you’re a Saint! As for me, I’m definitely not a Saint, and I sometimes feel like every day is an insurmountable failure at achieving even marginal saintliness. Instead of being disheartened, I decided to treat this challenge as a spiritual exercise.

I figured, if I could make it for 30 days and establish a habit of gratefulness in the morning, at least I will have started my day with a strong moment of praise. Too often I treat my prayer life like a to-do list — Angelus: check; Rosary: check; Scripture: check. The grateful tweet was just another check.

And then, it wasn’t.

I started to really notice the things for which I am grateful; my husband, my children, my friends — the many gifts God has given me that bring me joy. If that had been all, it would have been a successful experiment.

But of course, there’s more. In every instance when I have invited God into my life, it was a springboard for more. You see, this month when I’ve had the inclination to tweet a complaint or a negative comment, I’ve sometimes remembered to look for any redeeming element in the thing causing me grief. I usually found something that made me grateful.

Look, I’m no saint, and the last place I thought I’d find some spiritual growth is Twitter, yet here I am, extolling the value of gratitude, 140 characters at a time.

Give it a try. What are you grateful for?