Today I am linking up with the ladies at Catholicmom.com for Small Success Thursday. This post is going live tonight (Wednesday) because I have to get up at 6am and drive to Grapeland, Texas (near Crockett). In case you don’t know about this super big town, there is a Peanut Festival…. complete with a Queen and Parade, etc… don’t be jealous! ha!!! My Aunt Clara, who passed away a couple of months ago, God rest her soul, would have been 104 December 8th. And we are all going to her farm for Thanksgiving. But before I start, I wanted to share a couple of things with you…
Did you know -
THANKSGIVING DAY, A DEEPLY CATHOLIC HOLIDAY, by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez – (Written in 2008)
For most Americans, Thanksgiving Day is a special day, where we celebrate family unity. In fact, families get together on Thanksgiving more often than on any other holiday, including Christmas, and according to retailers’ statistics, this is the day when the most food is consumed in the country.
But besides the traditional family get-together and the big meal, there is also the religious meaning of this holiday, that is present since its origins. According to tradition, the pilgrims celebrated the first meal of thanksgiving in 1621, together with a group of natives to give thanks to God for the abundance of the harvests in the new world.
With time, this celebration became a national event, finally sanctioned by President George Washington himself. Today, we Catholics, celebrate Thanksgiving not only as a national holiday, but also as an authentically Catholic holiday.
I say that this is a truly Catholic celebration because even before the “first” Thanksgiving celebration on U.S. soil in 1621, on April 30, 1598, in Texas, Don Juan de Oñate had already declared officially a “Day of Thanksgiving,” commemorated with the holy sacrifice of the Mass.
Oñate did what is essentially Catholic: to celebrate the Eucharist, a word which comes from the Greek term Eukaristein, and which means, precisely, “thanksgiving.”
In fact the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that “Believing in God, the only One, and loving him with all our being has enormous consequences for our whole life,” (CCC 222); and then it adds that this involves, “living in thanksgiving: if God is the only One, everything we are and have comes from him: ‘What have you that you did not receive?’ ‘What shall I render to the Lord for all his bounty to me?’”(CCC 224).
This is the reason why, although Thanksgiving is not a day of obligation on the Catholic calendar, the liturgical calendar of the church in the United States celebrates it with the solemnity of two readings — one from the Old and another from the New Testament — and with a symbolic reading of the Gospel of Luke: the passage of the “Magnificat” proclaimed by the Most Holy Virgin Mary, in which she recites one of the most beautiful and profound thanksgivings to the infinite love of God: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness… The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (Lk 1:41-55)
Although the Virgin Mary experienced it in a unique and privileged way, we can offer our thanksgiving to God, because he has given us more than we imagine or deserve, simply because, as our Holy Mother tells us, he has done great things for us, and holy is his name.
That is why we Catholics should not only celebrate Thanksgiving with a deep sense of prayer, gratitude and joy, but the celebration this day should lead us to remember that our lives as Catholics are a constant act of thanksgiving, through our daily activities, all of which should give glory to God, especially through the celebration of the Eucharist, which, as the Catechism says, “The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, a blessing by which the church expresses her gratitude to God for all his benefits, for all that he has accomplished through creation, redemption and sanctification. Eucharist means first of all ‘thanksgiving.’” (CCC 1360)
This weekend we begin the special season of Advent. Through it, we prepare to receive the supreme gift from God: his own Son, who became one of us to reconcile humanity.
I pray with all my heart to our Mother, who was always grateful to the Lord, to fill our hearts with thanksgiving, in preparation for the great mysteries of Christmas.
Happy Feast of St. Catherine Laboure — A virgin, was born on May 2, 1806. At an early age she entered the community of the Daughters of Charity, in Paris, France. Three times in 1830 the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Catherine Laboure, who then was a twenty-four year old novice.
Can you even imagine how extraordinary this blessed woman must have been for Mary to appear to her! Sigh… I WISH! I am so grateful to the Saints for their good examples. We are truly blessed, aren’t we?
And now, on to my SST Post:
Every success is important… and frankly I’m not so sure mine are small. But here we go…
1 – Wrapped up the Quarter Today (yes today, I’m a super mean teacher) we wrapped up the last test for the quarter AND all we have left is the Book Report. YIP to the EEE! By next week, that Sergeant Donkey book report is done and out of our lives… I mean – done and turned in!
2 – Finished my Baking. AND Grandma Elsie’s Gingerbread Cake turned out. Twice before, I’ve followed the recipe and it never turns out… but this time – I added an egg and a little more flour and PEOPLE – It’s PRETTY and not all fallen, etc… Here is what I have made so far for Thanksgiving…
Ok – these are not finished yet. But they will have vanilla pudding in them and a nilla wafer on top!
This is the beginnings of pumpkin bread with cinnamon chips…. One is in the freezer (wrapped in parchment & aluminum foil).
And this is Grandma Elsie’s Gingerbread Cake. Sigh… it smells SOOOO GOOD. AND I will be making whipped cream to plop on it. Plopping whipped cream is the BESTEST!
3. I know GRATITUDE. Yes that is a success!! Some people never learn it. There was a time, I really didn’t get it’s importance in life. I was grateful – I thought… but it was a convenient grateful!
Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.
We have to remember to be grateful and to help others. I’m so glad our Pope, the Blessed, beautiful Pope Francis is driving this point home to people who do not GET IT… who do not live it. Let me clarify – I can be a pain. I am not perfect, but if you knew my life, you’d know I’ve always been grateful. Life has been hard in many many way… and I know we all live through our own hells. But I submit to you this Thanksgiving and always….
- if you are not dying of cancer.
- if you are not experiencing the aftermath of a natural disaster.
- if you don’t live on dirt in a third world country.
Then you need to SNAP OUT OF IT! Be grateful. Do for others… because you know what?
- …When my grandma Helen Elsie Royal was dying of bone cancer, she was still sewing and crocheting and doing for others. And she was grateful for all of her gifts.
- …And these people who live through natural disasters and hit their knees to pray to God and thank him for their lives and the strength to rebuild.
- …These children in third world countries who sit on the dirt floor and sing Jesus loves me…
People – they are Grateful! They are Thankful.
They are GOD FILLED and Appreciative!
Are you? I hope so.
If not, please know I am praying for you. I am grateful enough for you and I both… and you can lean on me! I am Our Lord’s daughter… and I am so thankful for an endless amount of things…
- For all that life has taught me.
- For all the people I’ve been blessed to help.
- For all the people who have blessed me with help.
- And so much more…
I’m crying and I have to stop typing now.
HAPPY HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Love, hugs and MANY blessings.