Reflections of God's Goodness
November has arrived and I wonder, what will it bring?
It begins today with “All Saint’s Day,” our remembrance of the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us as shining examples of how to follow Jesus. This feast day includes all those ‘saints’ designated by the Church and the ‘saints’ we have known in our lives.
This is a good day to begin our celebration of Thanksgiving, as we thank God for every saint who has interceded for us, been a mentor to us, or merely lived in a manner that inspired and helped us to be a better follower of Christ.
In these days of continued uncertainty, the only certainty is God’s presence with us. As we face the fact that the pandemic is probably going to get worse before it gets better and our isolation will continue during these coming holiday months, it is good to remember that we do indeed have much to be thankful for.
“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
This might be a good time to begin a gratitude practice. Write down one thing every day for which you are thankful. If you live alone, it might be good to post it where you can see your accumulating gratitude. Or use a journal to write down your daily practice and by Thanksgiving you will be able to share your gratitude around the dinner table!
Thank God for all those people in your life you are missing. Your children and grandchildren, your friends. Thank God for the Church, for the Eucharist, which itself means thanksgiving. Thank God for the abundance we enjoy: food, clothing, entertainment, technology.
Yes, this pandemic has been difficult for most of us. Our human inclination is to feel sorry for ourselves, lament our loneliness or complain about what we cannot do!
As always, we have a choice. These times call for creativity. Find ways to touch the lives of those you love this Thanksgiving, even if you cannot be physically with them. Ask God for inspiration.
“Finally . . . whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
God can take every circumstance in our lives and turn it into a blessing. May He fill your days with thanksgiving, inspiration, and thoughts of others. May He bolster your resolve to do what is best for the health of everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us.
And may God bless you with good health, with gratefulness for small blessings, and with hope in Him during these holy holidays.
Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn, SNDdeN
“In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”