Friday, November 26, 2010

Practice An Attitude of Gratitude

Not even through the first sentence, and this post already abounds with cliches. But cliches are cliches for a reason, yes?  Thanksgiving has been over for one hour and 26 minutes. My post is officially late.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. I love turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.  And I love the laid-back feel of a holiday where jeans are perfectly acceptable, and I don't feel guilty squeezing in a morning shift for time-and-a-half before dinner.  With the unexpected addition of a grease fire, the holiday met all my expectations this year. ___________________________________________________________________
         This year, as the holiday approached, and I found myself busy planning craft ideas for the kids in my program, and talking with them about Thanksgiving, I began to wonder, what does it mean to truly have a spirit of thanksgiving.  Is it enough to simply say thank you when someone holds a door for us?  Or to be thankful for what we are given by others and have been given in life?  It seems this is only a starting point. Or at least it should be only a starting point. True thanksgiving however seems more than simply "giving" thanks, but being thankful. 
          We've all done it before.  Mumbled a thank you to someone holding the door without even giving them a passing glance.  Thanked someone for something we could care less about.  Sure the quick 'thank you,' is still polite. But think how our lives would be brighter if we gave thanks with true meaning.  If we truly were thankful for all the little things in life.  Imagine how it would be to receive, a true, genuine thank you for doing a simple task like holding a door.

        What better place to look for this attitude than in God?  Isn't it God to whom our thanks are ultimately do?  As Catholics, we should remember that eucharist - comes from the Greek for 'thanksgiving.'  This Eucharist is our life source, our ability to give thanks, and in turn it is also the model for our thankfulness.  Just as we are thankful for Christ's sacrifice, so should we be thankful for the small, daily sacrifices of those we encounter.  We should look for Christ in our neighbor, and be thankful for His generosity.

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