Pilgrim Center of Hope - Catholic Evangelization Ministry in San Antonio
Greetings! November reminds us of giving thanks. How often do we stop and give thanks?
Pope Francis recently spoke about giving thanks: “If we can realize that everything is God’s gift, how happy will our hearts be! Everything is his gift. He is our strength! … Saying ‘thank you’ is such an easy thing, and yet so hard!”
Holy Family - detail of painting that hangs at St. Joseph's Church in NazarethWe have been told when people pray, their prayer is mostly one of petition and intercession; however, the prayer of “thanksgiving” is often not said.
Research has indicated that when people take time to be thankful or grateful, it can make you happier, healthier and aware of counting your blessings each day.
Image: Photo of original painting in the Church of Saint Joseph, Nazareth, Holy Land
Advice from the Pope (and us!)
Along with giving thanks, Pope Francis added:
“If families can say these three things, they will be fine: ‘Sorry,’ ‘Excuse me,’ ‘Thank you.’
"How often do we say ‘thank you’ in our families? How often do we say ‘thank you’ to those who help us, those close to us, those at our side throughout life? All too often we take everything for granted!” (St. Peter’s Square, October 13, 2014)
These words are good to remember and say daily!
A few years ago, we produced 30 second “commercials” advertising the Catholic Church on a few secular radio stations. Each commercial had a message of invitation. We added, “Stop and count your blessings; it’s a good feeling. The Catholic Church – We care!”
Go ahead: Stop and count your blessings, and be grateful.
Think about writing a list of 25 items you are thankful for. Try this:
Write 5 living people you are grateful for.
Write 5 physical abilities you are grateful for.
Write 5 places you are happy you have visited.
Write 5 things about this year you are grateful for.
Write 5 things about the Catholic Church you are grateful for.
Thanksgiving Scriptures to Share
The Bible is filled with verses on “thanksgiving”. Here are a few for you to ponder. Share them with family and friends.
1 Chronicles 16:34 --- Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalm 28:7 --- The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
Psalm 95:2-3 --- Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.
Psalm 106:1 --- Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Corinthians 1:4-5 --- I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way--in all your speaking and in all your knowledge...
2 Corinthians 4:15-16 --- All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 9:11-12 --- You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
Ephesians 1:15-16 --- For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
Colossians 3:17 --- And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1 Timothy 4:4-5 --- For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
A blessed Thanksgiving,
Tom Fox Mary Jane Fox
Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox
Pilgrim Center of Hope