As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Did anyone else think that they'd see today through a lense of extreme gratitude, that everything would be wonderful and rosy, and that you'd skip along into the sunset tremendously thankful for your life.  It is, after all, Thanksgiving. That's what I hoped for today.  But so far, it's not what's come about.

I always forget how busy holidays are, and Thanksgiving is no exception.  It's not a bad thing necessarily, but it does add that extra bit of excitement that sends the kids into a whirlwind of delight, which often translates to disobedience and frazzled parents.  Running here, there and everywhere to take part in joyful celebrations can lead to a bit of exhaustion.  A happy exhaustion, but exhaustion nonetheless.  And under these circumstances, we often find ourselves low on patience, and quick to anger.  On this day of all days, when we should be thankful, we find ourselves frustrated.

But maybe, that's not a bad thing.  Because maybe, that's reality.  Like most other holidays, Thanksgiving has become a bit distorted by our current way of thinking.  A culture that doesn't want to see the hard things, that runs from the struggle and seeks to "always look on the bright side" robs us of the true meaning of the day.  You see, it's easy to be thankful for the good things.  Being thankful even when things are difficult, that takes discipline.  And that's what leads to true gratitude for the things in our lives.

It's not easy to have have six children, but we're thankful for them anyway.  It's not easy to get up and go to Mass every Sunday morning, but we're thankful anyway.  It's not easy to wrangle your whole crew together not once but twice in one weekend to see family that you don't often get the chance to see, but we're thankful.  And we are richly blessed by all of these things.

Being thankful isn't something that just happens.  We don't just wake up on this holiday morning to a perfect world, perfect families, or perfect lives.  We wake up to our reality, with all its goodness and all its trials, and in the midst of everything make the decision to be grateful.  This is what bears fruit in our lives.  This is what changes our hearts.

May we not seek the easy way out, but rejoice in the goodness and the challenges of our every day lives.  May we be thankful for every bit of our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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