"If the only prayer you ever say is 'thank you' that will be enough."
Thanksgiving looks different this year - small squares on a computer screen may take the place of loved ones sitting around a table, like they have replaced many of our face-to-face interactions this year. For some, this may be the first, difficult, holiday without a loved one who has passed. What doesn't need to change, however, is the opportunity to express our gratitude. With all of the challenges this year has posed, some may find it difficult to maintain a grateful heart, while others may feel extra blessed with safety and health. Gratitude can't remove our challenges, but it can give us good perspective, and open our hearts to deeper prayer. This past week, 106 members of the Neumann community shared what they are grateful for this year; the results are below. (The larger the word appears, the more frequently it was shared). What are you grateful for this year?
365 Thank Yous
In the book suggested in this weeks "CM Picks for the Week" (below), the author details how he wrote one thank you card a day for an entire year, and how that changed his perspective on life. 365 thank yous is a lot, but the act of expressing gratitude can be spiritual and cathartic. Can you adapt this exercise to your life and schedule? Maybe one thank you a day from Thanksgiving to Christmas? Or make one thank you a week in 2021 your New Years resolution? Maybe you'd prefer thank you calls to thank you notes. Whatever your preference, we challenge you some intentional thanking!
Lessons of Gratitude from a Leper
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus models love for the marginalized when he associates with, cares for, and cures ten lepers. Years later, St. Francis, emulating Jesus, establishes his ministry around outreach and care for the most marginalized of Assisi, the lepers. What lessons, especially on gratitude, can we learn from this? Read one reflection here.
I am thankful for...
My class assignments because it means I have the resources to attend college.
A pile of laundry because it means I have clothes to keep me warm.
The parking spot I find at the end of the lot because it means I am capable of walking.
A pile of dishes in the sink because it means I have enough to eat.
Yet another Zoom call because it means I am connected with a community.
My mask because it means I am making the effort to protect myself and others.
My altered Thanksgiving plans because it means I have loved ones to share holidays.
My morning alarm because it means God has given me another day.
In all circumstances, I give thanks.
Adapted from Family Circle "I am Thankful" Prayer
Online Worship Opportunities
While Mass will no longer be offered in-person on campus, we encourage you to check the schedules for local parishes, all of which are offering virtual Masses: Church of St. Joseph, St. Francis De Sales Church, and St. Mary Magdalen Parish.
There will be no Prayer Line this Thursday, but what better day than Thanksgiving to host your own prayer line? Whether with family in-person or virtually, take a moment to pray in gratitude together. We wish we could send our wonderful Prayer Line host, Mya, to each of your homes, but instead follow these steps:
- Pick a song to begin (perhaps Mya's song pick - Situation)
- Ask each participant to reflect on the song.
- Ask for prayer intentions.
- Enjoy this moment of reflection with your loved ones.
The prayer line will resume for the last two weeks of classes. The final session will be December 10.
CM Picks for the Week
365 Thank Yous:
The Year a Simple Act of Gratitude Changed My Life, by John Kralik
Podcast: The Gratitude Diaries
YouTube: Jimmy Fallon, Thank You Notes