Thursday, November 27, 2003

Giving Thanks

Gratitude is an indicator of holiness. If you read the writings of, or the Lives of, the great Saints, you'll see that they were suffused with a spirit of Gratitude. They were always thanking God for all they had, and taking notice of the smallest blessings.

Gratitude is also a remedy against Sin. It's the times when I'm most self-satisfied and taking things for granted that I end up being the most susceptible to temptation, and prone to become self-absorbed. Gratitude takes the attention away from yourself and puts it on the Giver. If you make the effort to practice gratitude, you will be come Holy. It's that simple.

I am grateful for many things today. Here are a few:

I'm grateful for my priesthood.

I'm grateful for the Grace by which Our Lord saved me.

I'm grateful for Our Lord's most holy gift of the Eucharist, and the unimaginable privilege he has given me as His priest, to make Him present on the Altar.

I'm grateful for my family: my mother, father, aunts, cousins, who have shown me so much love and support over the years.

I'm grateful for my friends: they have taught me so much, given me so much, shared with me so much, and mean so much to me.

I'm grateful for all the good things of this world: The beauty of Nature, the wonders of creation, red wine, champagne, Prime Angus steaks, Vienna Beef Chicago-style hot dogs, lobster, asparagus, good Scotch whisky, good Bourbon, cigars, and micro-brewed beers.

Great are the works of the Lord, to be treasured for all their delights!

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

What Thanksgiving is Really All About

According to Gary Hull, in Capitalism Magazine, "Thanksgiving celebrates man's ability to produce."

That's right, Thanksgiving isn't about gratitude, or thanking God for His blessings upon us. No, Hull says:
That view is a slap in the face of any person who has worked an honest day in his life. The appropriate values for this holiday are not faith and charity, but thought and production.

There's nothing spiritual about it; it's all about producing and consuming, all about the "creation of wealth". That's your purpose in life.

At first, upon reading it, I thought the writer was merely some unimaginitive and culturally tone-deaf ass. But on a second examination, I realize there's something more sinister here. See, Capitalism Magazine is the work of modern-day acolytes of Ayn Rand, the apostle of selfishness and the Nietszchean Will to Power.

How, then, should we celebrate Thanksgiving? "By raising a toast to the virtue of your own productive ability...", we are told.

Produce for yourself! Thank yourself! Toast yourself!

Sounds to me like variations on the old theme:
Worship Yourself!