Happy Thanksgiving to All that Follow & Support Chronically Catholic Blog! I wish you all a blessed and safe holiday filled with Christ’s love for you and your loved ones. May we all join in a prayer of Thanksgiving for the gift of life, love, freedom, faith, joy, and hope.
A recent, local natural disaster reminded me of the many people that struggle with daily living. Last week, my area experienced a devastating windstorm rendering 400,000 people without power. 80,000 people waited days upon days for their power to be restored. Crews brought in from Canada, Nevada, and California flooded my city removing downed power lines, trees, and repairing damage. People’s homes were crushed by trees, consumed by fire, and flooded by water damage. People died. Hundreds of people over a week later still don’t have electricity. Thousands just regained power in the last couple of days. Thanksgiving is tomorrow.
On the upside, neighbor helped neighbor. People opened their homes to friends, family, loved ones, acquaintances, and strangers and shared what little they had. Sometimes in the midst of challenges, we allow ourselves to be more human. And reach out to those less fortunate or struggling.
I decided to compile a list of “things,” “people,” and “concepts” that I am grateful for. This is certainly not a comprehensive list nor in perfect order of importance. Most days I petition God, plead with God, and even adore God, but I need to practice the habit of gratitude.
- Being Alive: Take a deep breath, in and out! What a miracle!
- For Incarnate Love: Refer to Theology of the Body for a deeper understanding. But the Incarnate Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us because God so loved the world. And we are called as man and woman to participate in the Blessed Trinity’s external exchange of love.
- For Mercy, Compassion, Forgiveness: I am a sinner. God still calls me by name. “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” – Oscar Wilde
- Being a Woman: Enough Said (crown of creation- refer to Genesis)
- Being Catholic: Praise, be Jesus! Not because I have a superiority complex. Or that my Church is 2,000+ years old directly founded by Christ. But because I am PROFOUNDLY GRATEFUL for being able to receive the Body, Blood, Soul, & Divinity of Christ in the Eucharist. I consume Christ and Christ consumes me. Amen.
- My Family: For all the challenges and triumphs. The joys and the sorrows. I love them, and they have my back.
- For Medical Advances: For all the evils of modern medicine, there is even more good. My brother and I wouldn’t have lasted more than a couple of months without modern medicine.
- For Friendship: Growing up I wasn’t sure if I would have deep relationships with my peers, let alone female peers. Now after years effort and trust, I experience authentic friendship with multiple ladies and guys.
- For my cat: Enough said.
- For chocolate, turkey, and pumpkin pie: Enough said.
- For dance, music, singing, rhythm, movement: My hips don’t lie. And even St. JP II said, “I have a sweet tooth for song and music. That is my Polish sin,” Uh oh, I’m Polish.
- For snugly scarves, hot tea, and the first snow: Cue Christmas songs.
- For children: They remind us to laugh hard and often.
- For warm hugs: We were designed for appropriate physical touch. Touch that affirms our God-given dignity and respect.
- For (clean) water, electricity, power, heat,etc.: God didn’t say let there be a 200 amp system. But He did create us with the intellect to design, implement, and repair these modern comforts and conveniences.