Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Friends,

At every Mass, at the introductory verses before the Preface prayer the priest celebrant says, “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.” To which the congregation responds, “It is right and just.”

Indeed, how true are these words of prayer which we repeat so frequently. God shows Himself as the Giver of life, the Giver of grace, the Giver of everything. We, you and I, are His chosen recipients of such outlandish love, affection, and concern. The more we know about God, the more we experience Him in our prayer life, the more our hearts and lives are filled with gratitude and thanks. The power of living in gratitude transforms us and everyone and everything around us.

We can attest to this truth personally. We can see it in the lives of people who live it. We can even find testimony to it in the results of surveys and studies that many have authored. As we draw near to our national day of Thanksgiving, may we renew our thinking and pondering on this simple yet powerful truth of living as disciples of Jesus.

The stress and fatigue of the pandemic, which are real and palpable, along with the chaos of worldly events and the additional mandates/recommendations of government and health care professionals might tempt us to become discouraged or entertain self-pity. That in effect is putting our faith somehow into this world and the things of this world, all of which are passing/temporary.

Thanksgiving Day, a national recognition of our blessings from God, is an invitation for us living lives of gratitude as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, to refocus or strengthen our spiritual lives by surrendering to God’s grace and His Will. God has not abandoned us. He is with us! His grace is abundant to all those who open their hearts and souls to Him. And all His gifts, large and small, become apparent to those who live in the power of gratitude.

May we offer heartfelt thanks to God every day and in every way for the blessings and gifts that we have. May we extend to one another in the spirit of thanks, support and help as needed. May our lives enlivened by the baptismal virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity lead us to care for one another and for all suffering in any way. May this Thanksgiving, as different as it will be, allow us to join our voices together in prayer and praise giving thanks to the Lord our God for it is right and just to do so!

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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