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Catholic Dictionary




The virtue by which a person acknowledges, interiorly and exteriorly, gifts received and seeks to make at least some return for the gift conferred. Essentially gratitude consists of an interior disposition, a grateful heart, but when genuine it tries somehow to express itself in words and deeds. Consequently it includes three elements: acknowledgment that a gift has been received, appreciation expressed in thankfulness, and as far as possible some return for what has been freely given with no obligation on the donor's part.