It is the time of year, in the US, that we cook (fry, smoke, etc.) the turkey, gather with family (if you have any nearby) and feast, nap, and typically watch football.
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It is an American Tradition! What usually is missing from this day is a quiet reflection on what we are thankful for.
I do remember a time growing up where we gathered as a family, and all said what we are thankful for. Usually, this was right before we said the “blessing” and ate, so everyone was very quick to throw something out there so we can get to the food.
This isn’t a bad thing, but I’m reminded it is little to nothing in the grand scheme of things. This thought, of course, brought to mind the subtle reality of just how much we owe to God and just how little we return thanks.
I started this year apart from God. I started this year in a false religion, a false faith, false sacraments, and I started this year with the intellectual pride that I knew better than the Popes, the Magisterium, and the Saints and what they taught. I started this year on the road to hell due to pride.
God, our Merciful, Kind, Benevolent, Faithful, and Tender Lord had mercy. Our Lady, through countless rosaries, said so badly, kept on praying for me. St. Philomena, our family patroness took pity on us and through the intercessions of the saints, angels and our immaculate Mother, God gave me and my family the gift to accept the Truth and to accept the Faith as it once was delivered.
I’m thankful that the Gates of Heaven have been opened. I am grateful that I know the sacraments I partake in are valid. I’m thankful that I can receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of our Blessed Lord at Mass.
I’m thankful that the Spirit of God has been given to me in Confirmation. I’m grateful for the few but faithful priests that travel all over, get very little to no sleep, that never stop just to provide us with the sacraments of our Faith.
This year, I could thank God for where I live, the home I have, the profession I am in, the income I have, the friend I have, and I should do so, but in reality, all of that is destined for burning.
The only thing that really matters is Our Lord Has shown Mercy. For that, I will praise the Lord and try my best for the rest of my life here on earth (and through God’s mercy hopefully one day in heaven) to give him a worthy return for all of the benefits he has bestowed upon me.
So I challenge you to take a moment today and say a prayer. Offer a rosary intention for those that don’t have the Faith and pray that they, too, may receive the grace to return to the Father.
Finally, never forget to return thanks for the Faith that you have been given and never do anything that might jeopardize it.