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Dear Reader

I compose and post these articles with only one desire in my heart: to praise God and to offer modest help on your spiritual journey.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

THANKSGIVING

It is remarkable that among all the nations of the world two countries
sharing a common border share a unique holiday. Before their borders
were defined they shared a history of immigration and hardship with a
native people. Having traversed the perils of the ocean and learning
to share the untamed land with the native peoples, they realized the
profound need to give thanks. Their experience of hardship gave birth
to Thanksgiving.

Today both the United States and Canada celebrate this wonderful
holiday on separate dates in fall which crosses religious and civil
divides. Thanksgiving was celebrated long before their current dates
for more than 100 years. Canadians fixed their Thanksgiving on the
second Monday in October. Our mouths begin to water as we Americans
turn the page on the calendar to November. In 1863 President Lincoln
designated the final Thursday in November to be America's
Thanksgiving. He did so to forge a sense of national unity at a time
when our nation was greatly divided.

Humankind has from its beginning recognized the need to give thanks
for the harvest. The ancient Christian church in celebrating the
Lord's Supper calling it "Eucharistia"- Thanksgiving. Thus the name is
still used by mainline Churches such as Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran
and Anglicans.

The impulse to give thanks to God is deep within the human soul. God
fearing or God denying, it is most human to give thanks. But we have
great reason to be proud of our national heritage that sets aside a
day not celebrating victory in war but rather a day of sharing the
blessings of life.

Having such feasts or special days of observance implants within us
the seed for living a life daily of gratitude. The most intimate of
relationships between spouses or parents and their children are
nurtured and made stronger by the expressions of gratitude. What can
cause a tender warm heart to become frozen is the lack of
appreciation, acknowledgment, or gratitude.

We sense this by other occasions that give opportunity for expressing
thanksgiving: birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's day, Father's day to
name a few. One cannot joyfully sustain a relationship that does not
frequently throughout the day let alone a week or a year saying "thank
you".

With all the bitter divisions of an election season past, how good it
is to stop and say thank you for the opportunity of freedom and the
price that has been and continues to be paid to maintain it.

Surrender is the key to all spirituality and gratitude is the path to
holiness/wholeness. Whether one is alone with a can of soup or
surrounded at a noisy table with family and friends, I pray that each
of us has cause for thanksgiving. Whatever our opinions regarding our
nation and the state of affairs, I pray we can break into gratitude
united at least, in Thanksgiving.

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