As we approach Thanksgiving, it makes good sense to stop for a moment and reflect on all the things for which we should be thankful. It’s easy to focus on losses and struggles and take for granted the things that go well. That’s part of our human condition.
For what am I thankful?
I am thankful for life and the freedom to make decisions – good and bad.
I am thankful for my wife, Cathye, and my three wonderful children who have blessed my life with quality and joy and meaning. This is my first vocation – husband – and I am a better man because of her and a better person because of my children.
I am thankful for my parents who, though passed away, continue, I believe, to pray for me and for my marriage, my wife and for my children. Their love and example and generosity not only gave me life, but fueled me to strive after the good, to be a person of faith, and to reach out beyond myself.
I am thankful for the Church and for my vocation and ministry as a Deacon. I thank God for the opportunity, the blessing, and the trust the Almighty has placed in me despite my weaknesses and my shortcomings.
I am thankful for the ever-present God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – who made the life-giving love of my parents possible. I am thankful for God’s beautiful creation and the gift of my life, the Son’s sacrifice that redeemed me from my sins, and the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying grace which leads me and guides me, even when I don’t pay it enough attention.
I am thankful for God’s beautiful creation and all that nature gives to me – peace and awe and wonder.
I am thankful for the chance to have received a quality education from Elementary School through Graduate School and the blessing to enjoy the privileges of meaningful jobs, careers and income. While there are many in the world who do not have these privileges or opportunities, I am grateful to have had the chance to take advantage of them and to use them reasonably well.
I am thankful for the gift of a quality job teaching in a Catholic high school with the chance to teach the Theology and nurture the next generation in faith and understanding of God and his Church.
I am thankful for the food on my table, the cup of oatmeal I had for lunch today and the chance to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal this week with family. Family is easy to take for granted, and this is the time of year to make sure these quality relationships are placed front and center.
And I am thankful for the chance to breathe yet another day and the hopefulness of unpacking further hidden treasures that life has to offer in the days and years ahead.
Thank you God for family and friends, Church and the world, for a mind, education, food on my table and the freedom to share my thoughts openly.
N.B. Have I covered everything for which I am thankful? No way!