Thanks . . . Again
On Thanksgiving eleven years ago when – or so it seems to me now (and in Tolkien’s words), “The world was young, the mountains green, / No stain yet on the Moon was seen” – I wrote a column here entitled “Thanks.” It ended this way:
I sigh and thank God I’m a father, a husband, a friend, an American, and a Catholic. Gratitude comes easily to me for what’s right before my eyes, but I have a somewhat harder time giving thanks simply for being, and as I stand staring out the south-facing windows I close my eyes and look inward to the love of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit which spreads over me like the sunshine streaming through the panes of the tall mullion windows. I turn left, facing east, the light illuminating half my face, and with eyes closed find the Empty Place and truly, truly say with Saint Paul: “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
Illness and loss in the time since have only deepened my personal sense of gratitude, and I want to make a special request of all who read this to recall on Thursday how many blessings we share.
2020 is a year about which few will say, “Best year EVER!” In conversations I’ve had with friends, most have acknowledged it as the worst they’ve ever experienced, and I agree. The shadow of the coronavirus hangs over everything, and what formerly seemed the inexhaustible optimism of the American people now seems all but spent.