Photos, sometimes with Commentary, from a lay Catholic.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving, 2011

Life isn't perfect and Scott Peck told us "Life is difficult" in his book The Road Less Travelled. Even so, many of us can admit that there are moments that can feel nearly perfect, where we are content and at peace, if we are open to seeing them, if we are willing to create them. As these Autumn days become shorter and the weather turns more chill, the world may seem darker and dreary at times and my Irish disposition drifts toward melancholy, often despite my effort. What great timing to celebrate Thanksgiving at just this moment! Harvest: the time when we reap the fruits of our labors! This is a time when the world is wrapped in a beauty no one could have anticipated!

Recounting the very real circumstances of our lives today and the blessings we currently enjoy, as well as those blessings from our past, may serve as a quick remedy for self-concern. I have so many things for which I can be grateful this year, not the least of them is my health and the health of my family. Truly we are fortunate.

Canadian Thistle

And yet I have lost good friends, this year, too. Some have endured long illness. Others slipped suddenly from us. I know people who are unemployed and discouraged, some in my own family. I know those who are dealing with serious relationship problems and in pain. And, of course, I know people who are undergoing difficult medical treatments hoping for a cure for cancer. Each of us can recount stories of those who have lost loved ones to war, accidents, or even crimes of violence. The world is not an easy place to be.

We know that life is difficult. We know that it is wrought with emotional hurts and sorrows. This is why we gather together and recount our blessings. You are a blessing to me, and I must be a blessing to you. Our Faith tells us this, and our hearts confirm it!

I really *am* grateful this year. And I pray for all of my family, and for those friends whom I know well or only a little, and for any of you who read this, too.

I pray that we can encounter that place within us that is loving and courageous. That we can hear that Voice that speaks to us reassuringly. May each of us, inspired and armed with our own sense of duty, reach out and take the hands of those around us, and give them something to be grateful for this year and in the future.

The paths we tread are littered with sorrows but leading to glory.

Milkweed: Michigan Field Flower Buds

Milkweed Flowers, July 2010