An early Thanksgiving moment ….
Walk down an aisle of your favorite big box store and huge bags of bite-sized candy are stacked next to this year’s hot Halloween costumes, orange and black mini-lights, and goblins that are dressed in white gauze and scary eye make-up. Turn left one aisle and you run smack dab into piles of garland, tinsel, red/green/white mini-lights, and snowmen dressed for a frigid ride to the North Pole. Whoa! Did we just skip by Thanksgiving with nary a moment of quiet contemplation and acknowledgement of the blessings that abound?!
Thanksgiving was created on October 3, 1863 as a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward – two leaders who recognized that in the midst of the tragedy of the Civil War the nation needed a unifying event to help heal the wounds. While a very worthwhile cause, the sentiment from the “first’ Thanksgiving in November of 1621 has great appeal from a faith-perspective. Courageous Pilgrims seeking religious freedom shell-shocked from life at sea – malnourished, sick and desperate to get out of the wind and sun. Native Indians who taught the settlers how to cultivate corn, catch fish, tap maple trees and avoid poisonous plants. A successful first harvest and Governor William Bradford’s proclamation for a shared feast of thanksgiving and prayer. Sounds a lot like the Christian principles of love one another, care for each other, give thanks for all that is good.
And so we shall give thanks!
- For the Charism of the Sisters of Notre Dame – a gift of the Holy Spirit that is manifest in a deep experience of God’s goodness and provident care
- For the Sisters’ unceasing, passionate commitment to education, social work, pastoral care, and health care in North/South and Central America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania
- For the staff, administrators, volunteers and board members in SND sponsored and affiliated schools and educational ministries that guide our children, support their families, and strengthen our communities
- For the parents and caregivers who trust their children and family members to our care
- For the children and families we serve – each a blessing from God
There’s a lot to be said for the smells and tastes of a wonderful family meal of turkey, stuffing, cranberries and pie. For football and parades and winning the wishbone faceoff. We’re a nation of abundant sacrifice, great courage, and priceless freedom & liberties. We have a lot to be grateful for. And so we pray ….
Lord, we thank you
for the goodness of our people
and for the spirit of justice
that fills this nation.
We thank you for the beauty and fullness of the
land and the challenge of the cities.
We thank you for our work and our rest,
for one another, and for our homes.
We thank you, Lord:
accept our thanksgiving on this day.
We pray and give thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers.
“What truly enters their hearts must come from the heart.”