As a kid and a non-Catholic, I was always intrigued by the notion of Holy Acts of Obligation. As an adult with an even less Catholic viewpoint than earlier, I’m even more intrigued — and less tied to what they really were and more interested in what I think they ought to be.
For instance, thanksgiving. Not the day with turkey and all its fixings although I’m a pretty big fan of that, particularly fixings! But the action. The making reflexive of the giving of thanks first thing in the morning and the counting of blessings at night.
Each day is a gift. And if I treat it so from the very outset, it’s more likely to become that in fact. And I’m alive. I have great memories AND great prospects. And the present is challenging and engaging.
And so I give thanks. For all I have and all I am and want to become. And when I do, when my feet hit the floor, I am a different person and my day is filled with possibilities.
In my thinking about thanking, I also consider the countless religions that have small prayers to take you through the day… what would those thanksgivings look like, I sometimes wonder for those of us who live in today’s world… I may explore that… but at present, I will give thanks that I have friends coming to help me say good bye to my sister, to hold me upright when it is time, and that I may do this for the sister I loved so dearly. I give thanks that I have a cozy home and friends and family who have helped me reclaim my place in it in the aftermath of loss and grief. I give thanks for a wide-flung community with whom I laugh and kvetch and wonder…
I give thanks because life with all its challenges is mine to explore.