Thanksgiving Thoughts…..

I have learned a new method for post-Communion meditation that has helped me to stay focused after receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist. I think it was originally meant for children….but hey, we are all supposed to be as little children, aren’t we?

It is easy and may help you, too. It is actually an acronym and some of you may use this method already. The acronym is FATHER and here is the method to use:

F – Acts of FAITH

A – Acts of ADORATION

T – Acts of THANKSGIVING

H – Acts of HUMILITY

E – ENTREATY (Asking God for what we need)

R – RESOLUTION (Making a doable resolution to overcome our faults)

Easy enough to remember, right? And it fits right along with what we have learned about the four methods of prayer and the four ends of the sacrifice of the Mass – Adoration, Atonement, Thanksgiving, Petition….

When I get to the Thanksgiving part of this prayer, my heart overflows (when I am focused and not too distracted) with thankfulness for everything we have. It comes easily – to think of things I am grateful for.

It hasn’t always come easy. But I have had to train myself to regularly look at the glass half full instead of half empty.  I still get tripped up. But for the most part I am able to bring my mind back to what I have….which is so much.

There are so many suffering in this world of ours and when we are aware of this, it helps us to comprehend what we have. Although the news, etc. can bring us down, a proper dose (important – not too much!) of it makes us grateful. It gives us a reality check. And thankfulness SHOULD be our daily focus. Our Lord is very pleased with a thankful heart.

It may take a gratitude journal or just trying to remember to switch tracks on our train of thought if it begins to get negative and self-pitying. There is no room for that in a Catholic life. Let’s “boot it out” of our lives!(Speaking to myself here, too, of course)! I’m not an expert at it, but getting better…..

There are many, many little things that happen in every day life that we can be thankful for.  A good cup of tea or coffee?  A homemade apple pie?  A good movie?  A stranger’s smile?  A friend who cares?  In this time of disturbing world news, having a safe home, a haven to go home to is something to be very thankful for.  I’m grateful for the beautiful fall we have had.  I grew up in Canada and at this time of year winter is getting its tight grip on each day.

Thanksgiving is a great time to remember those big and little things that each of us has to be grateful for.  It’s also a good time to be thankful for the adversities in our lives because they have helped us to grow and to have compassion on others who are going through rough times.

Each day we need to practice having a thankful heart. All those little things I mentioned? Why not each day, be more aware of them and send a quick prayer of thanksgiving to God, who is the Author of all these things as we experience them throughout the day.

When you are having that tea and it warms your innards, thank God for it. When you are about to sit down with your family and play a board game and you realize what a gift your family is, thank God for it. When you get in that warm shower and the heat penetrates your sore body and gives it relief,  thank God for it. When you lay your head down at night and it feels so good because you are so tired., thank God for it. What better way to train your mind to be thankful!

I read these words from a very wise woman: ” Learn to enjoy life.  Be thankful.  Smile.  When you catch yourself becoming irritated or disturbed at circumstances, stop and laugh at the little things that steal your peace.  Count your blessings and learn to be appreciative.”

Cicero once said, “A grateful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”

So as the Thanksgiving weekend approaches,  let us offer up our little inconveniences, our stresses, our fatigue for those less fortunate than ourselves. And, on the flip side, let’s start becoming more aware of the little things and thanking God for them.

May you all be blessed with a lovely Thanksgiving. May Our Lord and Our Lady help us to become holy with hearts filled with love and gratefulness. Amen!

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A Gallery:

Some pictures of our November so far. Rosie is not in most of these pictures. She has been suffering through October and November with the Epstein Barr Virus. It has taken her down….really down. In your charity, would you be so kind as to offer a prayer for her?

This is Gemma, Margy and Hannah. Margy (middle of the first pic)is my “right hand lady” since Rosie has been out of commission. She makes all the meals and fills in wherever there is a need. Gemma and Hannah help a lot, too!

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Our All Saint’s Day Party was a smashing hit. The March of Saints and then the Litany of the Saints started the evening off. The large hall was packed with kids and adults alike. Then came the potluck where we all were able to visit with each other and have some good camaraderie.  Next was the two short plays about the lives of the saints and then the games for the kids, with lots of prizes for everyone. There was the fishing pond, the cake walk and many other neat games that Margy prepared for the evening. We had a raffle for the door prize and a Pumpkin Carving Contest where the winners would take away the baskets shown below!

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First Prize:

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Second Prize:

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Third Prize:

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Mid-November we held a Robin Hood Bow Shoot. Our family was very involved. There were about 45 people who shot the course. Families came and sat around the bonfire, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. It turned out to be a wonderful time and we hope to have it each year! The profit from this event will be used to help the needy in our area this Christmas season.

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One of the 3D targets:

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Theresa is a good shot and won first place in the Women’s competition!

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Our grandson (Theresa’s son) Brendan, was pretty good, too!

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Grandson, Jacob:

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Devin won second place in the Men’s Compound Bow Competition:

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Our son-in-law, Mike, won first in the Men’s Competition:

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How do you like that for a pile of laundry!? Sheesh…. I stuck this one in as a reality check. 😛

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This is Angelo’s bed. I do believe he is going to be a Mad Professor . He’s got all sorts of contraptions rigged up. When I asked him why the beads were in the lid and precariously sitting on something suspended in the air, he proceeded to tell me it was his alarm clock. When Dominic gets up in the morning and switches on the light, somehow the fan fin will hit the lid, the beads will fall and it will wake Angelo up. 😛

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We have five birthdays within five days of each other in November. Angelo and Rosie’s birthday is on the same day. Rosie was able to get herself out of bed to blow out the candles.

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Our sweetheart granddaughter, Agnes.

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Our Amazon packages can hold some pretty amazing things!!

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Since Rosie has not been able to make it to Mass for several weeks, Father, in his kindness, came and offered Mass at our house. Such a privilege!

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These are pictures of Virginia’s flowers that she makes. Theresa is modeling them. They would make lovely “fascinators” for weddings.

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We have been taking part in the local bazaars to sell some of our handcrafted items.

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All of the guys decided to take the birthday girls and Angelo out for dinner rather than buy gifts and have a party. This is the gang just before they left for the restaurant.

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Rosie stayed behind. 😦

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This month we had a celebration as our Legion of Mary Praesidium welcomed nine new members! They made their promise and are now full-fledged Legionaires! It was very exciting!

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Last year we had a Family Puppet Show for St. Nicholas Day. This year we plan to collaborate the Puppet Show with the Knights of the Altar Spaghetti Dinner for the whole parish! We will also have a special visit from St. Nicholas! I will take pictures for you.

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A Give-Away!

With that, I would like to offer you today a Give-Away!

This is a handcrafted  brass, wire-wrapped rosary bracelet with matching earrings so you can carry your rosary wherever you go! (Notice the special German twisted wire….saved it just for you! )

Also included is a lovely Ribbon Ginjen Flower Accessory handcrafted by my daughter Jeanette! (The amount of work that goes into each of the petals is admirable as she cuts, burns, folds and glues each piece of ribbon!)

These two lovely gifts (that will bring festivity to your Christmas season) will be given to the person whose name is pulled from the “hat”! Just leave a comment here on the blog. It is always nice to hear from you! 🙂

I will pick the winner November 30th, St. Andrew’s Feast Day!

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