Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving: "It is right to give Him thanks and praise."

The Angelus (1857-1859), Jean-François Millet

Next week, I’ll conclude my three-part post, “God Desires Our Human Love and Its Perfection.”

On this Thanksgiving Day, I must first give thanks to God for the Parousians – for the community we have been blessed with, for our friendships, for our intellects and talents, for the gift of our education, for the intercession of our patrons, for Holy Mother Church, for our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, for all the priests who have made the Sacraments available to us, and most of all, for our salvation, for Christ's presence in the Eucharist, and for God’s grace and His good work in us that He has promised to bring to completion (Philippians 1:6).

God has blessed us abundantly, indeed. As we affirm each time we attend Mass, "it is right to give Him thanks and praise." Absolute gratitude, offered in humility, is the only appropriate response to the perfect love we see on the Cross and in the Blessed Sacrament.

I’ll leave you with these quotes about gratitude from some of our favorite saints and writers. In all humility, let us thank God with them for His many blessings.

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” – G. K. Chesterton

“In all created things discern the providence and wisdom of God, and in all things give Him thanks.” – St. Teresa of Avila

"I sing praise to You, my Lord, for all You have made, especially for Brother Sun, who brings the day and through whom You give us light." – St. Francis of Assisi (Canticle of the Sun)

“As part of the spiritual worship acceptable to God (Romans 12:1), the Gospel of Life is to be celebrated above all in daily living, which should be filled with self-giving love for others. In this way, our lives will become a genuine and responsible acceptance of the gift of life and a heartfelt song of praise and gratitude to God who has given us this gift.” – Pope John Paul II (Evangelium Vitae)

“God has been wonderful to all of us. He has given us so many beautiful opportunities to put our love for God in living action. So let us show our gratitude by loving one another, as Christ loved each one of us.” – Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

“Gratitude is characteristic only of the humble. The egotistic are so impressed by their own importance that they take everything given them as if it were their due. They have no room in their hearts for recollection of the undeserved favors they received.” – Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

"O my God, let me remember with gratitude and confess to thee thy mercies toward me. Let my bones be bathed in thy love, and let them say: 'Lord, who is like unto thee?’ (Psalm 35:10). Thou hast broken my bonds in sunder, I will offer unto thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving (Psalm 116:16-17). And how thou didst break them I will declare, and all who worship thee shall say, when they hear these things: 'Blessed be the Lord in heaven and earth, great and wonderful is his name’ (Psalm 8:1)." – St. Augustine (Confessions)

“I give thanks to You, Holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God. Not through any merit of my own, but only through the goodness of Your mercy, You have considered me – a useless servant – worthy to be nourished with the precious Body and Blood of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

“We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is ‘good,’ because is it good, if ‘bad,’ because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world, and the hope of our eternal country.” – C. S. Lewis

“For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. Through Him, then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” – St. Paul (Hebrews 13:14-15)

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