Mandeville, LA – Happy Thanksgiving! is the cry of the average American. Have any of us ever heard or caused to be heard “Happy Curses!” Well this is “America” and we are ‘Muhricans”, what do YOU think? St John Bergamo explains this in Humility of the Heart.
“The doctrine of St Bernard is worthy of our notice : It is one thing to be humiliated, and another to be humble. He is humble who converts all his humiliations into humility and says unto God: ‘It is good for me that Thou hast humbled me.”
Do we give thanks on Thanksgiving Day only for “the blessings” we enjoy, ignoring the blessings that come in the form of challenges, pains, tragedies and the vicissitudes of life? Those blessings that lead to the virtue of humility that can only be gained by the embrace of ALL experiences. St Francis de Sales provides us with a wonderful example of not only giving thanks for the pains and frustrations of life but actually pursuing them as the principle part of living.
“What greater austerity can there be than to keep our will in subjection and In continual obedience, Reassure yourself then, O lover of voluntary penance, if, indeed, the works of self-love deserve to be called penances! …Do not then let yourself be shaken, but remain where our Lord has placed you. It is true that there you suffer great mortifications of heart, seeing yourself so imperfect and so deserving of reproof and correction, but is not this the very thing you ought to seek, a mortification of heart and a continual sense of your own misery”
Therefore, if you are reading this message let me give thanks to you for that and offer some personal examples of the other thanks I am compelled by my love of Christ to offer.
If you have written to me venting your disapprobation for my words, let me give thanks to you.
If you have called the Mike Church Show and expressed your displeasure at my words, let me give thanks to you.
As St Augustine wrote of his own struggle with humility and why it was the most important pursuit of his life.
“No-one reaches the kingdom of heaven except by humility….Whether it be little or whether it be great, it cannot be done without Him without whom nothing can be done.”
Thanksgiving is our annual day of acknowledging our blessings, ALL our blessings. When viewed through this prism, when arising tomorrow for the horrors of “Black Friday”, put that into perspective by calling another day of life an occasion for giving thanks. You can then throw the keys back on the atrium’s bureau and resolve to acknowledge that EVERY Friday is “Black” in that we fast and pray, recognizing Our Lord’s Passion and the opening of that most narrowest of gates, the gate to Eternity. That beats the gates of Super Wal-Mart being thrown open to nab worldly “savings” on TV’s & phones that won’t work in heaven anyway.