This is a season for a lot of celebration, both in Church and society!
I hope you and your family had a good Thanksgiving! It is one of my favorite holidays since it is such a family based celebration and largely centered around a meal. I hope the spirit of thanksgiving remains with you for a long time and spills over into all aspects of your life. I can hear in my head one of the things my mom used to say a lot: “my cup runneth over.” Her heart would rejoice when she saw her kids gather and interact and she celebrated our joys and accompanied us in our struggles. Don’t let thanksgiving be something we do just on one day! May your cup run over with joy and gratitude! A grateful heart (and an attitude of gratitude) recognizes that everything we have and are is a gift. Maybe you can make it a conscious effort to really notice things you are grateful for. And in my experience, that almost always leads to prayer. I remember reading a book years ago entitled, Gratitude, the Heart of Prayer. To celebrate Eucharist is to give thanks, and that is the root meaning of the Greek word.
I was not able to be with my (blood) family at Thanksgiving, but I was able to join them earlier in the month for my niece’s wedding in Kalamazoo. (The local friars gathered for a feast on Thanksgiving Day, hosted by the friars who work at St. Aloysius downtown.) All my siblings were able to come to the wedding, and this was the first time in a long time that we were all together. About 20 of us gathered in brother’s hotel room for hours, catching up on each other’s lives. Nobody in the room next door complained, though they surely could have! My sister and my brother had cleverly choreographed an announcement where they each announced the other’s retirement, after 30+ years, from Kroger (the grocery store.) It was good to be with them, and I am grateful!