As a Brit. I do not have the cultural formation in the history and development of the National Feast of Thanksgiving. However, for me as a Catholic Christian the idea of Thanksgiving is central to my life. All of our lives are in fact supposed to be Eucharist, in that they are to be offered up in thanksgiving for the merciful salvation of God given to us through the Cross and rising of Jesus. So for the Christian, every day is essentially a thanksgiving day.
This Sunday we give great praise and thanksgiving to Christ the Universal King and for all the blessings of the past Church year; next Sunday is Advent! But it is also with great joy that I give thanksgiving to the parish for its kind commemoration of my 60th birthday last weekend. So far, 60 does not seem too different from 59! I also give thanks for the now four years of being the pastor here at SLdM parish. It has been a wonderful experience so far. I have learned a great deal from you all, and I give thanks for that too.
So it only remains for me to wish you a very, “Happy Thanksgiving”. Since family is at the center of the national feast, may you and yours gather in joy and happiness and may any rifts be bridged. Looking into the feast and the idea of thanksgiving, I offer these two quotations I have found which give us a little food for thought:
“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” ~ Henry Ward Beecher
“It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for. He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire. Nothing is possessed, save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient. But a thankful heart hath a continual feast.” ~ W.J. Cameron
God bless you and your family
and the USA this Thanksgiving week.
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter