28. PREFACE - We must not consider as blessed successes only those things which are of great importance. Frequently things that are apparently insignificant are those which most influence our destiny. Man easily forgets the goodness received, preferring to remember only afflictions. If we were to register day by day the many benefits we receive, without even having asked for them, we would be greatly surprised to perceive there are so very many that we have swept from our minds and would feel ashamed of our ingratitude.
On lifting up our soul to God each night, we should remember in our innermost self the many favours that He has granted us during the day and offer thanks for them. But most especially, at the moment we receive the effects of His goodness and protection, we should spontaneously bear witness to our gratitude. For this, it is enough that we direct a thought attributing the benefit to Him, without even interrupting our work.
Benefits from God are not limited to material things. We should also thank Him for the ideas and happy inspirations we receive. Whereas the selfish person attributes all of these things to his own personal merits, and the incredulous person to mere chance, the one who has faith renders thanks to God and the good Spirits. Long sentences are not necessary for this purpose. "Thank you, dear God, for the inspiration of that good thought", says more than a long prayer. The spontaneous impulse which makes us attribute to God what has happened to us, bears witness of an act of thanksgiving and of humility, which will earn us the sympathy of the good Spirits (See chapter 27, items 7 & 8).