Tomorrow is the nationally sanctioned American holiday for thanks; for gratitude. Beyond the Thanksgiving holiday, the family gathering, the food and the plenty it is thankfulness for all the goodness in my life I want to express my humble gratefulness for. I have so much to be thankful for, especially this year. I have health, love, friends, family, good work and hope. I am humbly and deeply grateful.
Gratitude: To recognize the quality, significance, or magnitude of life; a warm and friendly feeling awakened by thankfulness.
During the Civil War in 1863 Abraham Lincoln set the official U.S.holiday of “Thanksgiving”. At the time he said:
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gifts of God] should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens… to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”
Taken from “We Thank Thee” by Ralph Waldo Emerson
For tender grass so fresh, so sweet,
For the song of bird and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear or see.
For blue of stream and blue of sky,
For pleasant shade of branches high,
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
For beauty of the blooming trees.
For this new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.
“Help Me” by Samuel F. Pugh
O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
Taken from “MY THANKSGIVING PRAYER TO YOU” by Judy N. Marquart
My Thanksgiving prayer
to you from me;
Is for love strong and true
that you hold within thee.
A house filled with love
and the light how it shines;
Showing all of its beauty
till the end of time.
Kindness towards others
for all of your days;
To be returned I pray
in many a way.
A good job to keep you
and pay all your bills;
That you spend it all wisely
and not on the frills.
A family around you
that is loving and true;
That you all stand together
for there are so few.
Dreams of pure beauty
as you lay there and sleep;
Through the peaceful night
when darkness is deep.
An angel to guide you
through morning and night;
To protect you and love you
till the end of your plight.
“Iroquois Thanksgiving Prayer” adapted by St Joseph of Peace
We return thanks to our Mother, the Earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs,
Which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars,
Which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun,
That has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in Whom is embodied all goodness,
And Who directs all things for the good of Her children.”
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.