Jesuit Pupil Profile
Grateful & Generous


Pupils in a Jesuit school are growing to be grateful for their own gifts, for the gift of other people, and for the blessings of each day; and generous with their gifts, becoming men and women for others.

Jesuit schools help their pupils grow by encouraging them to know and be grateful for all their gifts, developing them to the full so that they can be generous in the service of others.

Understanding the Virtues: Grateful & Generous

Gratitude is always Saint Ignatius’ starting point.  Before we reflect or pray, discern or make a decision, begin a new day, or embark on anything important, he calls on us to remember everything that we have to be grateful for.  His little daily spiritual exercise, the examen, begins with gratitude.

If you are attentive to your own responses to what happens in your daily life, you will probably notice that a lot of it is down to a feeling of entitlement – a feeling that I am due certain things, courtesies, privileges, comforts, rewards, breaks.  Ignatius wants us to think and feel in a different way.  Instead of insisting on your entitlements, consider rather what has already been gifted to you: your health and family, shelter and security, enough to eat, plentiful clean water, friends, freedom, the rights and protection of the law, your education, talents and pastimes, the love of God in Jesus Christ, and all the small daily blessings that, when noticed, bring joy to life.

Just as Ignatius begins his Spiritual Exercises with gratitude, so he concludes them with generosity. As we become more practised at being grateful, we realize just how gifted and blessed we are, often without really deserving it. Out of this growing realization comes a powerful desire to be generous, “to give and not to count the cost.”  Generosity is the inevitable consequence of the practice of gratitude.

St Ignatius had an important principle that deeds were more important than words (Spiritual Exercises n.230) and so, for him, generosity will show itself better in the things we do for others than in what we say.  More often than not, it is the small acts of daily kindness and generosity, putting others before ourselves, which have a greater and deeper impact than the occasional grand gesture.

People who lack generosity are often fearful that they will lose something by giving and be diminished.  But those who have experienced the freedom of being generous discover that the opposite is true.  The more you give, the more will be given you. (Luke 6:38)  Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “Never measure your generosity by what you give, but rather by what you have left.”  This is what it means to be big-hearted and truly generous

Gratitude and generosity are the virtues which underlie an attitude to life that is outward looking, regards other people as precious gifts, and encourages young people to grow to be 'men and women for others'.

  Ten examples of Biblical generosity and how to live them in your life
Resources for Grateful & Generous

JPP tagcloud image

Tagcloud greyed-out with grateful and generous highlighted in green.

Tagcloud grateful & generous (.png image)

PowerPoint animation

A PowerPoint animation in which the JPP tree/tagcloud reduces to the virtue pair Grateful & Generous. This resouce could be the first slide in an assembly. If these animations are used regualrly, pupils get used to focusing on a pair of virtues.

PPT slide for grateful and generous (ppt)

Staff briefing paper

This briefing paper aims to be a quick introduction to the virtues and the thinking and theology behind them.

Grateful & generous briefing paper (pdf)


"When life is sweet, say thank you, and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you, and grow."

"Help one another with the generosity of the Lord and despise no one. When you have the opportunity to do good, do not let it go by."
St Polycarp


The Examen

The first step of the spritual exercise of St Ignatius called the Examen, is being grateful.

More information on the Examen


Prayer for Generosity
Jacques Sevin SJ (1887-1951)

Lord, teach me to be generous:
to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek to rest;
to labour and to ask for no reward
save that of knowing I do your will.


Gratitude Journal

52 Gratitude Prompts


Scheme of Work

Donhead Preparatory School in Wimbledon sets aside 50-minutes a week for pupils to work on the virtues of the Jesuit Pupil Profile. We are grateful for their sharing of the scheme of work.

Grateful & Generous scheme of work

Copyright Notice
The Jesuit Pupil Profile, tagcloud image and logo, and resource material, are copyright. The Jesuit schools of the British Province have permission to use them freely. If you wish to use or adapt this material and are not a British Province Jesuit school, please ask first.
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