(I wrote the core of this a number of years ago. I thought maybe it was worth repeating.)
With Thanksgiving approaching, I ask that you take the time to consider and reflect on the things for which you are thankful. Most of us will find times when we like to moan, groan and complain about many things. We may tend to see the glass as half-empty rather than half-full. However, it is a good practice to take an inventory of the things in our lives that we might take for granted or fail to fully appreciate each day.
A statement that I heard quite some time ago seems to put things into proper perspective for me: I used to complain about the shoes that I wore until I met the person with no feet.
Am I thankful for that fact that I am alive?
Aborted babies never had that opportunity.
Do I thank God every day for my health?
The hospitalized and homebound might long for days without pain and the ability to get out of bed.
Do I love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength? Am I truly grateful that Jesus suffered and died on the cross for me?
God loved us into existence and then sent His Son to show how much He truly loves us. Have I thanked God daily and tried as best as I can to love Him in return?
Do I take my Christian faith for granted?
There are still places in the world where people suffer and die for being a Christian.
Do I go to bed each night with a roof over my head and a full stomach?
The homeless and those in line at a soup kitchen are probably envious.
Do I have a family with whom I can spend the holidays?
The orphan, widow or widower, soldier in a foreign country, or person in prison might not have such good fortune.
Have I tried to cultivate a thankful heart?
Complaining, in and of itself, doesn’t accomplish much.
If I can read and understand what this reflection is all about, am I truly grateful?
The blind, the mentally ill, a person with Alzheimer’s, or simply an illiterate person might not be able to do what you are doing right now.
Need I say any more?
Please give thanks.
There’s no better way to do this as a Catholic than by participating in the celebration of Mass on Thanksgiving Day.
Hope to see you there!
Fr. Ed Namiotka
Pastor (AKA, the main turkey)