Dear People of God,
The word “Eucharist” means “to give thanks.” As we celebrate Thanksgiving day this Thursday, we truly have much to be thankful for in life. I am truly aware of life’s pain, sorrow, stress and hardships. Yet, author Nancy Wood has a wonderful perspective regarding “thankfulness.” Wood states, “I must be thankful for what IS and stop thinking about what is NOT.”
Joyce Rupp, well-known author and speaker, wrote the following in her book:
Out of the Ordinary (Ave Maria Press)
In one of his journal notations, Thomas Merton writes that we are always thinking that our life will be truly be happy “when.” We are not satisfied with what is currently our situation because we have it in our mind that our life won’t be happy until something else occurs:
when I have one more thing I want,
when I get rid of that personality flaw of mine,
when I can finally have life as I have always dreamed it to be,
when I am truly successful,
when I learn to pray better,
when I find the right person in my life
when, when, when . . .
Waiting for the “when” keeps me from appreciating what I now have. Longing for promises and dreaming dreams is not a harmful deed as long as the present moment is not overlooked, as long as gratitude rises for what is already here, as long as I do not base my happiness on what is still wanting. Thankfulness for what has already been given is the foundation for hoping for what is not yet.
Today I am going to put aside:
“when this happens”
“if only this could be”
“when things get better”
“as soon as I have this.”
I am going to harvest all that I now have, gather all the many gifts that are already mine. I am going to observe what has been placed in the granary of my heart and marvel at the abundance.
I will stand before this heap of blessings and take a long, grateful look. I will say farewell for my “when” and be thankful for what is.
With much thanks and gratitude,
P.S. I truly give thanks to God for this marvelous Faith Community. It is a joy and privilege serving as your Rector. Let us together give thanks and celebrate this Thanksgiving Day at our Masses at 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 12:10 p.m. A Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving to your entire family. May the Chicago Bears beat the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day!
P.P.S. Wonderful news! Our Holy Name Cathedral turns 143 years old this Wednesday. The Cathedral was dedicated on November 21, 1875. The original church was destroyed in the great Chicago Fire in October, 1871. Plan to join at any of our daily Masses this Wednesday to give thanks.