Monthly Archives: November 2010

Thank You God

Is Thanksgiving any more than the announcement of the coming Christmas shopping season? Or turkey? or time off for traveling? There is a certain lack of holiness about the holiday. And there is no religious nature contained in the actual founding of the event. Everyone knows that here in the USA we have so much to be grateful for–even in a recession. But do we realize that a “thank you” is only one of the four kinds of prayer we should practice?
In the Bible there are many mentions of prayer. Jesus, in the last words spoken at the last meal says a prayer thanking God for all the people who have been loyal and supportive of him(John 17).
So thanking God is a good reason to pray; do I do more than have the “gimmies” when I pray? You know, “Give me this or give me that.” Now you know two of the ways to pray: to ask for something and to thank God for a favor received. As a child I was taught the word ACTS as a way to remember the many kinds of prayer. And I was told that I should pray all the different kinds of prayers. The oldest form is ADORATION. Cain and Abel, the children of Adam and Eve, are first mentioned as they worship at altars they built to honor God. So now you know three of the ways to pray: Adoration, Thanksgiving, Supplication. The last one is the hardest for me. I always find it difficult to say that I am sorry. It is easier to find someone or something else at fault. But I realize more and more that I need to adore God, tell God if I am sorry to have offended not only God, but anybody hurt by my words or actions. God always forgives our acknowledgement of our imperfections. Then, forgiven, I can thank God for all the wonderful things and people in my life, for the good happenings.
Only now am I ready to say what I need or want, what God can do for me. So, this Thanksgiving Day, think of the word ACTS. And use all the letters to Adore God, to say you are Contrite for any wrongs commited, to be Thankful for all the gifts received and to pray in Supplication for those things you know you need to be the best person you can be. Now you can enjoy the day of Thanksgiving.

Special Holy Days

Although Christmas and Easter are considered the most important celebrations of the Christian calendar, November 1 and 2 are even more important to true believers as they should be important personal days in our lives. In St. Paul’s letter to the people of Ephesus Paul tells us that we have special gifts and talents. Everyone is different and our gifts are also different. But all the gifts work together and with Christ as the head we become the body of a perfect person, each joint fitting and joining together to form one whole body building itself into a new life.
Our beings become an important part of a very special group of persons who live holy lives. As time goes by we become better and better and -even if we fall or fail-we return to the important task of making ourselves into the best we can become. This turn toward perfection is hard and remembered. At the end we return to the Creator. St. Paul comments many times in his letters that the good people have fallen asleep. Not dead, not gone, just asleep.
On November 1 a special day is celebrated called the Feast of All Saints. These are the people who have lived as best they can, doing good deeds for others, helping those in need, being kind to those who might need help. These are the ones who have fallen asleep. Somebody remembers them; they are loved by those they aided. Perhaps no one but you remembers a certain person but around November 1 you can go to a quiet place with paper and pencil and write down the names of all those whom you loved, who helped you, who counselled you, who went out of their way to make you the better person you are today but are no longer in your life. These are the real SAINTS we should honor on November 1, called The Feast of All Saints.
And for those of them who have died we can remember them
very specially on November 2, the Feast of All Souls, by recalling their names and faces and their connections to our lives. To me that is why these two dates: Nov. 1 and 2 feel more important to me sometimes than the bigger celebrations of Christmas and Easter. And somehow after thinking of all these persons I feel so much better and stronger and eager to continue on my path through life.