A Thanksgiving Prayer
Iroquois Thanksgiving Prayer (adapted)
A Matter of Giving Thanks
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life
Thanksgiving Proclamation

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Oh, God, when I have food
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work, help me
to remember the jobless;
When I have a warm home,
help me to remember the homeless;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer;
And remembering, help me
to destroy my complacency
and bestir my compassion.
Make me concerned enough
to help, by word and deed,
those who cry out
for what we take for granted.

~ Samuel. F. Pugh

"For I was hungry and you gave Me food,
I was thirsty and you gave Me drink.I was a stranger and you welcomed Me..."
- Matthew 25:35

Iroquois Thanksgiving Prayer (adapted)

"We return thanks to our Mother, the Earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in Whom is embodied all goodness, and Who directs all things for the good of Her children."

-- Iroquois Prayer, adapted Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace

"A Matter of Giving Thanks"
-- John Harricharan

In the United States, we have just celebrated the "Thanksgiving" holidays. Many other countries have their own versions of "Thanksgiving." But "Thanksgiving" is not something that should be done on one particular day of the year. It is good that a day has been chosen for this, but it is up to each and every one of us to be "giving thanks" all year long.

Sometimes we look around at our financial situation and think that there is nothing to be thankful for. Other times we glance at our relationship or health challenges and think that giving thanks borders on the absurd. Yet, if we look around us, we can see that we are not alone in our trials, that many others are having to face similars problems.

Being thankful for life itself is a way of making life better. When we look away from our problems, even for a short time, and generate joy in our hearts, we find that the world seems to change a bit. I do not know why this is so and I don't really need to know. All I know is that the universe seems to respond quickly to a grateful heart.

A grateful heart is, perhaps, a heart full of "greatness." Perhaps, the way it works is that when we break focus with our problems and we take a break from being miserable, the River of Life flows more gently and more fully through our being.

Try it for yourself sometime. Stop what you're doing for one or two minutes and quiet your mind. If you're really frightened by appearances around you or if your problems seem insurmountable, you may find that stilling your mind becomes a very difficult task. But with a little practice, a minute or two at a time, it becomes easier to do.

During this minute or two, think of two or three things or events you are or should be grateful for. Feel how fortunate you are to have them. For example, I consider myself extremely blessed to have had my two children, Malika and Jonathan, grow up the way they have. True, there were times when I considered running away from home. And yes, there were moments of anxiety and concern when I thought to myself that children were created for the sole purpose of bringing insanity to their parents. But don't most of us feel that way once in a while?

Yet, with all the ups and downs of being a parent, I consider myself the most fortunate person on earth to have Malika and Jonathan as my children. They have taught me patience, unconditional love and much more than I can ever list here. I have learned from them. I could not be who I am without the experience of being their father. And for this, I'm grateful. I give thanks.

How about unfortunate situations. Am I happy or grateful that my wife died when she was only in her thirties? Should I be thankful that I was left with two young children to raise and an entire life to reorganize? Of course not! But I am grateful that she was my wife for the years we spent together. She was only nineteen when we were married. I am grateful for her love, for her kindness and compassion and for making it possible for me to be what I am today.

We could all turn tragedy into triumph and disaster into divine outcomes if we maintain a spirit of gratitude and if we listen to our heart and soul. It is in our quiet times, in our "thanksgiving" moments that we can hear the universe sing to us. If we listen carefully, we can hear it say, "You are my child and I love you dearly. Look around you. All that I have is yours. Everything is yours. It always has been. Please unwrap your gifts."
" Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."

~ Melody Beattie ~

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Did you know that it was Abraham Lincoln who, in the midst of the Civil War, in 1863, established the annual celebration of Thanksgiving? Lincoln had learned how important it is to stop and thank God in the midst of great difficulties.

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gifts of God] should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens... to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."

~Abraham Lincoln~

Beverly Nadler

Thank you, God, for blessing me
With an open heart and eyes that see.
Thank you, God, for letting me
Look inside Your mystery.

Thank you, God, for filling me
With radiant health and vitality.
Thank you, God, for freeing me
To become all that I can be.

I am in awe of the beauty around me,
The glory and magnificence that surrounds me.
I know that I am part of it all --
The earth so deep, the trees so tall,

The glistening snow, the summer shower
The shimmering star, the exquisite flower.
I look in the eyes of each person I see
And know I am them and they are me.

Thank you, God, for blessing me
With Your limitless power and prosperity.
Thank you, God, for my searching mind
And the path I took that led me to find

The magic and the wonder in life.
Yes, I’m ready to end my struggle and strife.
I’m captivated, God, in Your joyous spell
For I finally know, all truly is well.

- copyright Beverly Nadler 1998

Thank You!
Beverly Nadler

Thank You for the dawning
Of a wonderful new day.
Thank You for the blessings
That come my way.

Thank You for setting me free
Of delusions.
Thank You for helping me see
Past life’s illusions.

Thank You for the sunlight,
The flowers, the rain.
Thank You for comforting me
When I’m in pain.

Thank You for the pleasure
Of human touch.
Thank You for the people
I cherish so much.

Thank You for the love
Of dear friends and family.
Thank You for the truth
I can finally see.

Thank You for guiding me
To fulfill my role.
Thank You for the joy
I feel in my soul.!

- Copyright Beverly Nadler 1998