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Archive for October 13th, 2019

Thanksgiving … noun or verb?

As I was reading up on thanksgiving I was disappointed that it was a noun … simply a thing, a subject, a day. Then I came across the word in french, action de grâce. which translates, action of grace … except that it would be more like the act of giving thanks. Sounds like a verb, an action, to me … yet it is still a noun.

I’m an out-of-the-box kind of thinker, so today I am pulling thanksgiving out of the grammar box and identifying it as a verb.

This weekend, as Canadians celebrate this day (noun) we cannot do so without the action (verb) of giving thanks.

We who live in a county of freedoms (be thankful for what we have, for our apathy might lead to our loss), who have homes to live in, food to eat, jobs to work, families to love, studies to learn, recreation in which to play, health with which to live, a God to worship.

Look at all those noun-verb combinations! It is like they were meant to be together!

Fr. Sean Mullen has said:

“I believe that I can continue to try to adopt thanksgiving in my life as a verb and not a noun. This seems like a simple project, but I know it will not be: to make thanksgiving something I have to offer, not take; something I have to do, not something I merely get to enjoy. But the more I become a pilgrim of thanksgiving – journeying on that pathway from noun to verb – the more I have the sense that I am surrounded by the astonishing beauty and generosity of God’s creation.”

Maybe that is what I am trying to communicate … that the adjustment from Thanksgiving as a day (noun) full of family, and turkey, and pumpkin pie to an action (verb) that directs our mindset throughout the year away from what I get to what I do for others.

We are thankful for our homes and food, therefore we help to house and feed those who do not.

We are thankful for friends and family, therefore we invite the lonely into our lives.

We are thankful for the sacrifice of Christ for our souls, therefore we …

“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
― attributed to Teresa of Avila

Let us be the action of thanksgiving in our world.

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