In a Thanksgiving Day treat, we are posting from The Cross, Our Only Hope the reflection written by Fr. Pat Neary, C.S.C., for this beautiful day. Enjoy, and have a blessed Thanksgiving!
It is God's own hand which has guided everything, and he it is whom we must thank above all. Hence I beg you to unite your thanks with ours in order that we may draw down more abundant blessings from heaven upon our work, and above all, not stop their flow by a want of gratitude. – Blessed Basil Moreau
When Blessed Basil Moreau looked at the humble yet mysterious beginnings of the congregation he founded, the talented young people who began to join it, and the missions that were soon established, he felt a deep debt of gratitude to Divine Providence. He knew instinctively that gratitude to God was a sure way to receive even more abundant blessings.
As a nation, we put this spiritual principle into practice through the annual celebration of Thanksgiving. On this one day, we slow down and fuss less, enjoy the company of loved ones and friends, and realize during grace before a delicious meal just how blessed we are.
As a Church, the Eucharist is our privileged opportunity to express our gratitude to the Father for all that we have received in Christ Jesus. The word "Eucharist" comes from the Greek word meaning "to give thanks," and for our weekly hour of praise and thanksgiving, untold graces are showered upon us.
In our families, grace before meals and bedtime prayers cultivate in parents and children alike an appreciation for the profound blessings of work, a home, food and clothing, friends, and the gift of one another. As awareness increases, so do blessings.
Forgetfulness is the only enemy of our blessings; for we may stop their flow by a want of gratitude. All of us, like Blessed Basil Moreau, can help each other to appreciate our blessings and to realize that a little gratitude goes a long way. We can learn the power of gratitude, which unites us and opens up the flood gates of heavenly blessings for ourselves and those we are called upon to serve.
From The Cross, Our Only Hope: Daily Reflections in the Holy Cross Tradition, ed. by Andrew Gawrych, C.S.C., and Kevin Grove, C.S.C. Copyright © 2008 by Priests of Holy Cross, Indiana Province. Used with permission of Ave Maria Press (www.avemariapress.com).