Being Grateful

In the Holy Mass the priest often prays in the Eucharistic Preface, “Always and everywhere it is right and just to give thanks to God.” An attitude of gratitude is so helpful to living life to the full. Conversely, when we aren’t grateful every day we can often slip into an attitude of entitlement. Entitlement suggest that life owes me things, such as happiness or love or things. Life doesn’t “owe” us anything. Rather, life is a gift given to us. And when we are the receivers of a gift, the natural response is to be grateful.

One of the great holidays of the year is coming up in Thanksgiving Day. It’s an opportunity for us to simply express our gratitude to God for all the blessings we’ve received. It’s an opportunity to simply be grateful. Whether or not Americans believe in God or not, in that we all are giving thanks I like to think of Thanksgiving Day as a kind of National Day of Prayer. We will celebrate Holy Mass at 9:00 AM on Thanksgiving and we invite worshippers that day to bring bread and wine for their Thanksgiving table to be blessed. Join us for a joyful celebration of Thanksgiving November 22nd.

On Thanksgiving Day we will also celebrate the 6th Annual Thanksgiving Outreach Dinner here at Moran Hall. This has become something of a Thanksgiving Tradition for us and I’m so proud that we can be part of it. The Thanksgiving Outreach is an amazing effort put on by St. Raymond and volunteers from other local churches to serve a full-on Thanksgiving experience to anyone in need. The poor, the homeless, the needy, elderly shut ins – anyone is welcome to come and enjoy wonderful hospitality, a delicious Thanksgiving meal served to your table complete with all the trimmings and live entertainment. You’ll be seeing more info about the Thanksgiving Outreach here in the coming weeks. I urge you to bring anyone in your neighborhood or who you know will be in need of company on Thanksgiving Day to join us.

Finally, I want to use this space to recommend to you a book I think you’ll really enjoy. It was written by a parishioner whom many of you know: Nicole Allen. Nicole and her husband Joe moved to our area several years ago along with their 12 (yes, that’s 12!) children. You may have seen them take up an entire pew in our church on Sundays. After renting in Dublin they were able to get into a house in Livermore a couple of years ago. Joe had been very active with our Knights of Columbus and Nicole with our Catholic Daughters. Since St. Michael Parish is close to their home now they attend Mass there and continue to be active in the life of that parish.

When the family was living here Nicole told me she was a writer. She asked me to read her manuscript and comment on it. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into – it was a BIG manuscript. But as I got into the story I found myself immensely enjoying it. I think you will too. It’s an amazing personal story of faith, family, perseverance, challenges and God’s hand at work through it all. It’s a great read for any adult and especially for parents. Why? Because it deals with the ups and downs of family life in a most relatable, readable and hope-filled way. The book is entitled, “Mountains and a Mustard Seed.” As the title implies, faith is the key to overcoming all obstacles no matter how mountainous. Check it out! Here’s a photo of her.

As always, be assured of my prayers for you.

Fr. Lawrence

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