“Surely God is Full of Grace and Bounty towards people, yet most are ungrateful.”
We take so much for granted. We become so accustomed to the innumerable gifts, benefits, and blessings which surround us everyday and moment, that most of us are unmindful of any obligation or need to give thanks. We just take so much for granted.
Too often, it is not until our good fortunes are restricted, disrupted, or lost that we become reflective and appreciative. We take sunny days for granted until there is rain, and we curse the rain until there is drought. It is the Katrina’s and Sandy’s that cause all of us, whether directly or indirectly affected, to be more conscious, more aware, and more appreciative of the precious gifts of God that we incessantly take for granted – nature, beauty, order, comfort, and life. We become so enthralled with ourselves and the myopic that the countless blessings saturating our existence are oblivious to us.
Thanksgiving gives us pause from the rat-race of disregard, neglect, oversight, and ignorance of the things, values, and realities that really matter: gathering the family especially at a time other than a funeral, being mindful of the homeless and hungry without disdain, indifference, and disrespect, being grateful for the normality and ordinariness of life, and thanking God from Whom all Blessings flow. May this pause bless each of us to see the difficulties in our lives as awakenings to the countless favors we enjoy and need to share with others. And may this Franciscan Benediction inspire and guide you as it does me:
“May God bless you with Discomfort, at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with Anger, at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless you with Tears, to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain to joy.
And may God bless you with enough Foolishness, to believe that you can make a difference in this world so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.”
Submitted by Imam Plemon T. El-Amin