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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is this week. And while we associate the day with Pilgrims, Native Americans and Plymouth Colony, the Pilgrims themselves associated the feast with God’s generous blessings. And so related to the day, here is what Pope Francis offered on gratitude and thanksgiving to God at an audience in 2013. It’s taken from the Catholic News Service.

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Vatican City, Oct 13, 2013 Pope Francis preached about the importance of gratitude and thankfulness for the Christian community and for family life. “If we can realize that everything is God’s gift, how happy will our hearts be! Everything is his gift. He is our strength!” he told the crowd of about 150,000 gathered for Mass in St. Peter’s Square. 

“Saying ‘thank you’ is such an easy thing, and yet so hard!” his homily continued. “How often do we say ‘thank you’ to one another in our families? These are essential words for our life in common.”
 
The Pope gave special attention to the need to show consideration for one’s family. “If families can say these 3 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…or are at our side throughout life? All too often we take things for granted!”

The Pope spoke after a weekend of Marian prayer that culminated in a special act of entrustment of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and her maternal care.

As the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima stood nearby, Pope Francis reflected on Mary’s relationship with God as an example of Christian gratitude. Mary’s words at the Annunciation, “my soul magnifies the Lord,” are “a song of praise and thanksgiving to God not only for what he did for her, but for what he had done throughout the history of salvation,” the Pope explained. This history reveals that “God surprises us.”

“It is precisely in poverty, in weakness, and in humility that he reveals himself and grants us his love, which saves us, heals us, and gives us strength,” the Pope explained. The journey to salvation also entails a commitment on the part of those following the path of Christ, which is not always easy.

“I ask myself: am I a Christian by fits and starts, or am I a Christian full-time?” the Pope said. “Our culture of the ephemeral, the relative, also takes it toll on the way we live our faith. God asks us to be faithful to him, daily, in our everyday life.” Fortunately, the Christian knows that “we can be unfaithful, but he (God) cannot: he is ‘the faithful one’,” he added.

One woman in the crowd shed tears as Pope Francis said that God in his mercy, “never tires of stretching out his hand to lift us up, to encourage us to continue our journey, to come back and tell him of our weakness, so that he can grant us his strength.” “This is the real journey: to walk with the Lord always, even at moments of weakness, even in our sins.”

ACT OF ENTRUSTMENT TO MARY

 Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima, with renewed gratitude for your motherly presence we join in the voice of all generations that call you blessed.

 

We celebrate in you the great works of God,
who never tires of lowering himself in mercy over humanity,
afflicted by evil and wounded by sin,
to heal and to save it.

Accept with the benevolence of a Mother
this act of entrustment that we make in faith today,
before this your image, beloved to us.
We are certain that each one of us is precious in your eyes
and that nothing in our hearts has estranged you.

May that we allow your sweet gaze
to reach us and the perpetual warmth of your smile.

Guard our life with your embrace:
bless and strengthen every desire for good;
give new life and nourishment to faith;
sustain and enlighten hope;
awaken and animate charity;
guide us all on the path to holiness.

Teach us your own special love for the little and the poor,
for the excluded and the suffering, for sinners and the wounded of heart:
gather all people under you protection
and give us all to your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus.
Amen.

 

Heart, Soul and Mind

Monsignor Royal's weekly column as featured in our bulletin.


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