Very soon Americans will celebrate the Thanksgiving holidays. Even during these uncertain times, we will have the urge to gather for sumptuous meals highlighted by turkey and pumpkin pie, traveling to and from the ancestral home, enjoying family, feasting on leftovers and perhaps even watching football.
For many of us, Thanksgiving Day is so full of activity that there is a tendency to forget what’s at the heart of Thanksgiving, offering our thanks to God for the many gifts that have been bestowed upon us. Although sometimes the reason for the holiday is forgotten in our secular culture today, good stewards of their life and faith recognize that Thanksgiving should be directed primarily in God’s direction.
Because the “busyness” of Thanksgiving Day can easily distract us from slowing down to a pace more suitable to adequately expressing our gratitude to God, perhaps this November we might allow Thanksgiving to permeate our lives for more than just a day. Expressing gratitude is at the heart of good stewardship. So, let’s dedicate a little time each day in November to giving thanks for our blessings. Express your gratitude for the beauty of God’s autumn creation.
Take a minute each day to thank the people in your life who matter to you. Drop someone a note, place a short phone call or maybe a video chat is in order. Telling people you’re thankful for them will enrich your life as well as theirs. Make a point to attend at least one Mass outside the regular weekend Masses. Going to Mass on Thanksgiving morning is an excellent way to enhance that holiday.
As a community of faith, we know that giving glory to God in this way is an important aspect of our communal life of faith. Transform the rest of November into a month of Thanksgiving. If you do, you will find your celebration of Thanksgiving Day a richer and fuller experience than you could have imagined. In fact, you might just discover that your overall happiness with life improves.