I wish all a happy and holy day of Thanksgiving! This morning the two sister parishes (St. Eugene's & St. Monica's) held Mass together at St. Monica's. The church is beautiful and large enough to house all those gathered to say thanks this morning. Fr. Jerry's homily began by roaming up and down the church to ask parishioners to share that for which they were thankful. My favorite was this little girl's voice chirping over the mic system, "Mommies and Daddies".
I believe our Benedictine background helps us celebrate this day of national Thanksgiving. He reminds us that all we have is gift, all our goods are to be treated as vessels of the altar, and to be grateful for what we have but to not seek for more than what we need. The sense of gratefulness that is all throughout the Rule can hopefully keep my heart open to living out a thankful life every day and not just this commemoration in November. So today, I've been trying to challenge myself to think out ways to share my gratitude with others to make my thanksgiving more visible.
I have much to be Thankful for today. I have the opportunity of education at a wonderful Catholic university. Our community has given the chance to go back to school to improve my education about education; hopefully, I will have a chance to share this will a new classroom next fall. I've been blessed with a family; a loud, crazy, overwhelming crowd--but I love them. They are gathering at Mom and Dad's tonight and tomorrow. One great aunt (Aunt Marcine is going shopping with the girls tomorrow), three boys between 4 & 5, three girls between 7 & 8, one little girl who turns 1-year-old today, and four parents, plus Nana and Grampa! Maybe it's not so bad that I'm out in Milwaukee? I'm grateful for our Benedictine Community. They have helped me develop strengths and shore up weakness that I never would have been able to do alone. In vocation talks, I tell the kiddos that Community is the greatest blessing as well as the only sacrifice Benedict asked his monks to perform. Still--I couldn't imagine living any other way. I've been blessed with friends in my life who have been supportive and challenging. They have picked me up, dusted me off, and pushed me back on track...and they know I'd do it for them...God has blessed me.