Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks...

'Give us this day our daily bread, O Father in heaven, and grant that we who are filled with good things from Your open hand, may never close our hearts to the hungry, the homeless, and the poor; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit...' ~ from the abbey of New Clairvaux, ViƱa, California.

Today is Thanksgiving Day...when we give thanks to our Eternal Father in Heaven for all that He has done for us...for our families, our friends, our homes, our food and comforts, our country, everything.
Jesus taught us to give thanks to God, that it is a good thing to do ~ in the Lord's Prayer, we ask for all that we need, and upon receiving it, we say 'thank-You' to the One Who gives it.
Most of us, if we are on our computers, reading this (it may be assumed), are safe and warm in our homes, probably with food in the kitchen right now, not too worried about what we will eat today. Most of us will enjoy a turkey dinner, complete with all the extras ~ cranberries, stuffing, two or three vegetables, fresh-baked bread, pumpkin or sweet potato pie loaded with whipped cream...and probably a nibble or two of some other confection, as well.
Then, we will curl up in our easy chairs, enjoy an after-dinner cup of coffee or glass of wine, watch 'The Game', laugh and enjoy company of friends and family.
Our furnaces will be on, sending warmth and comfort throughout the entire house, and we will most likely doze off in front of the TV this evening, early, full and lazy with the too-much-to-eat dinner we have consumed.
And that is all good...
However, there is another side to this Thanksgiving Day Feast, and I'd be willing to bet that there are few who even give it a thought...but I would like to mention it anyways...and that is, our neighbor.
We who are born-and-bred American are so used to being full and warm that I sometimes wonder if we remember to give a thought to those who are not. While we can safely give thanks to Almighty God for all that we have been given, do we remember to pray ~ especially on a day like today ~ for those who are not so blessed?
Or, are they the ones who are blessed, instead?
They who have been downtrodden, hungry, cold and lonely, sick and dying...all their lives...they have such crosses to bear of which we know little or nothing!
But Jesus tells us 'Blessed are they who suffer, for they shall be comforted.'

And we really need to remember to take Him at His word...
We need to pray for them and for ourselves...that if and when we are ever deprived of what we have now, we will see it as a blessing from Him Who knows what is best for us, certainly, but also for the ones who
need so that they will be given what they must have to survive and to grow in their Faith, as well.
The fact that we are given the opportunity to help others and to pray for them is a blessing that God has given to each and every one of us, and we must never take that for granted. It is a good thing that we have what we do ~ there is nothing wrong with that ~ but to keep it to ourselves is where the wrong comes in...we must know that He is watching every move, and He is expecting that we will share it all. We have one chance, one life to use wisely...sharing with and giving to our neighbor...and we must make sure that we do!
that, is a blessing for which we can be truly thankful.

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