Food for thought today … If nuns checked their facebook home pages every day, might we not have a nation full of disgruntled, irate monastics?
The violence in the world! The corruption among its leaders! The disparagement of the Church! Lewdness made to look right and desirable! Open, unchallenged deception in the media!
Even when we train our souls not to trouble themselves with the evils we cannot correct or control, the never-ending gloom and threatening doom, the anger, the fear, the sense of helplessness, the sense of outrage, thanksgiving is an imperative palliative, one we must never forsake. Prayer with thanksgiving is world-changing. (Philippians 4:4-7) For us, the nuns of Cor Unum Abbey, the giving of thanks is fixed and irreplaceable; no matter the day, no matter the hour on the clock of history, we will give thanks and worship our God. No matter the difficulty and no matter the pain, there is every reason to give thanks to our God for the lives we live and the life of Christ, now made our own.
Like weight training, it is surprising how much, how deep and wide, how far-reaching the scope of our thanksgiving once we exercise it.
We are not unaware of the conditions around us, and some of us have a public responsibility to report and reprove, but when, in all the annals of time, has there been a season without flood, famine, fornication, or fierce rivalry and its warring expressions? We cannot live godly lives until we are more grateful than we are offended and afeared.
The Scripture tells us that our God in heaven sees the rage of nations … and laughs! (Psalm 2:4) Is He laughing at them, mocking? Perhaps in a holy way that we don’t understand, but this we know: He laughs because He isn’t a gloomy God. Laughter was His idea, His creation. If we are laughing in purity of heart, grateful and happy to be alive, and alive forever, we are closer to heaven than we may know.
Thanksgiving, as we have seen, prepares the way for salvation, and the heart full of real and unfeigned joy, of holy laughter, is a portrait of the soul saved from sin, freed from fear, tuned in to the happiness of the Father.
photo by Marion Haworth, by permission, Wikipedia
Harvest Festival Flowers