Four Quick Notes on Thanksgiving

1) First, a Thanksgiving hymn. I’ve mentioned this particular hymn before as one of the greatest of the twentieth century, but it seems particularly apt for today:

O God beyond all praising, we worship you today
and sing the love amazing that songs cannot repay;
for we can only wonder at every gift you send,
at blessings without number and mercies without end:
we lift our hearts before you and wait upon your word,
we honor and adore you, our great and mighty Lord.

Then hear, O gracious Savior, accept the love we bring,
that we who know your favor may serve you as our king;
and whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill,
we’II triumph through our sorrows and rise to bless you still:
to marvel at your beauty and glory in your ways,
and make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise.

2) Catholics sometimes have qualms about Thanksgiving, since it’s a semi-religious holiday (sort of) begun by the Puritan pilgrims, who wanted to “purify” the Church of England of “Romanism.”  I think Taylor Marshall provides the antidote in a rather great post on Thanksgiving. In it, he talks about how Squanto was Catholic, how the first Thanksgiving celebrated in the US was Catholic (St. Augustine, Florida, 1565), and how the Catholics and Puritans shared common persecution under the Anglicans during this time.

3) One of the things that Taylor  mentions in his post is that “Eucharist” literally means “Thanksgiving” in Greek.  Of all the things we’re thankful for in this year, let’s not forget the most central one, the Eucharist Itself, the “source and summit of the Christian life.”  That Jesus Christ would deign to come stay with us sinful mortals, and that He should do so under such humble appearances, is one of those blessings without number, and mercies without end.

4) One of the many things I’m thankful for are all of you: the people who read, who comment, who e-mail, and who pray for me.  I keep you all in my prayers as well, and I’ve been richly blessed through this blog.

From the left, that’s Cary (who posts as scredsoxfan2), David Bates (better known as Restless Pilgrim), and myself.  David was in town, and we’d never met; we had a great time, and passed about six hours before we knew it.


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