I understand how difficult it can be to remain positive when the world seems to be collapsing all around you. It is much easier to sit and complain about the circumstances rather than striving for a way out of the chaos. Having a grateful heart empowers us to see more clearly the blessings of God. That single step toward gratitude will bear an abundance of fruit. I encourage you to give it a shot.
Our whole school gathered together this morning for the celebration of the Eucharist. As I looked around at the students, the faculty and staff, parents, grandparents, and other supporters of the school, my heart was filled with gratitude and joy. The freedom to come together to pray is a privilege that brings us strength and healing. We are blessed indeed.
As the snow begins to fall here in Council Bluffs, Iowa, I offer a prayer of gratitude for a warm house, food to eat, clothes to wear, and all the necessities needed to sustain life. While I would prefer sunshine and 70 degrees, I will be content with cold, snow, and wind.
I realize that holiday travel plans for many of you are being disrupted all over the country. I extend to you my sincerest condolences. Being with loved ones over the holidays is something we can plan to do for months, but then with a day or two of bad weather our plans come to naught. Please know that I offer a prayer for everyone to remain safe as they seek out their destinations. If you are sitting in an airport, I pray also that you have the virtue of patience.
Random thoughts of gratitude:
1. Having a loving spouse (31 years) and wonderful children.
2. Being a new grandpa.
3. Being healthy.
4. Having a car.
5. Having enough money to run the car (insurance, plates, gas, etc.)
6. Having a nice home to live in.
7. Having electricity, heat, hot water, food, etc.
8. Being the executive director at Saint Albert.
9. Being a deacon.
10. Having the privilege of preaching at Mass today.
11. Having vestments to wear at Mass.
12. Knowing we are infinitely loved by Almighty God.
13. The freedom to exercise our religion.
14. Having beautiful churches in which to pray.
15. Hospitals and the medical personnel who staff them.
16. Friends who are recuperating well following surgery.
17. Technology that allows us to communicate messages of hope.
The list could go on and on, but you get the point.
On behalf of all the administrators at Saint Albert Catholic Schools, I extend to you my best wishes for a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!