So Thankful For a Day of Gratitude

by Dorothy Fuchs, SND on November 25, 2014

in Blogs

ThanksgivingThanksgiving as an official holiday dates back to 1863, when President Lincoln, in the midst of the Civil War, promulgated this yearly feast.  This Thanksgiving blog entry comes through the lens of Catholic women living in the United States, but I believe many people, Catholic or otherwise, can resonate with the ideas.  The thoughts reflect the views of a number of sisters and of one of our candidates for association with the Sisters of Notre Dame.  When I asked some sisters at lunch what are some of their reasons for gratitude, they gave me many answers.   Below follows a few of those ideas…

  • religious freedom, for the most part;   being able to worship in our own words
  • the gift of Eucharist, providing spiritual food each day
  • prayer-filled liturgies which support our faith, enabling us to express in word and song our beliefs
  • our families, with their imperfections, in which we were given life, nurtured, and accepted
  • our faith, which provides us with a loving image of God
  • creation, with its great diversity of plants, wildlife, and landscape
  • other people; for us as Sisters of Notre Dame, our congregation
  • beauty;   music;   composers and entertainers who have shared their artistic gifts with us to enjoy this beauty
  • entertainment, and for all those who have used their talents to provide wholesome entertainment
  • four season
  • clean water
  • our bodies, unique expressions of our own person, providing us with the means to relate to others
  • children, and their smiles, their laughter and their inquisitive nature
  • students who provide us with the opportunity to share our knowledge, and enable teachers to continue to grow and learn
  • military service personnel who have made our nation a secure place to live, and who fought to preserve our freedom; for our armed forces trying to make other parts of the world a safer place, whether helping to build Ebola care centers in Liberia, or trying to limit the actions of violent extremist groups
  • leaders who use their office to enact and execute just legislation for the benefit of the common good
  • doctors, nurses and other health care workers who bring healing and comfort to the sick
  • doctors without borders, those who work with them, and all those who provide material support for them
  • the ability to learn from the richness of many cultures, in keeping with the spirit of the first pilgrims and native Americans
  • opportunity for good education

Besides these reasons which many of us share, each of us also has personal for gratitude.   I have often thought over the years how blessed I was that my parents emigrated from Germany prior to the rise of Hitler, so that my siblings and I were spared the horrors of the Nazi regime, and the hardships which the German people endured in post- World War II Germany. What reasons do you personally have for gratitude? What reasons for gratitude would you add to the above list? Sr. Dorothy Fuchs, SND,  was a high school teacher for twenty-nine years.  When teaching World Culture, religion and U.S. History  Sr. Dorothy tried to give her students the sense of the inherent dignity of people of all cultures, the critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate events in history, and the realization of the  gifts of our Catholic faith, a faith that teaches that all people are children of God.  For fourteen years Sister Dorothy was a pastoral minister. For twelve if those years Sister served on the staff of St. Michael the Archangel Parish, where as staff liaison to the Social Concerns Committee she worked with the committee to promote awareness of current social justice issues.

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Lisa Novak November 26, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Dorothy, you have provided a feast of nurturing good for thoughts of gratitude. Thank you!


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