… And Happy Turkey Day, too also. I am reminding myself to be grateful that I finally have the replacement computer the Spousal Unit has been “getting around to” any time in the last year and a half, and if I am very lucky I will even be able to access my email by the end of the weekend. Also, this year’s Bloat is taking place less than an hour from our house, which means I can sleep in my own bed tonight, praise goddess. First World Hobbit Problems!
Today’s sermon, from E.J. Dionne:
Thanksgiving Day is awash in sentiment, but gratitude is not a sentiment. It’s a virtue. It’s certainly nice, but it is more than a feeling or an emotion. Properly understood, gratitude is hard because it entails both an admission and a demand.
A genuine sense of gratitude is rooted in the realization that when I think about all that I am, all that I have and all that I might have achieved, I cannot claim to have done any of this by myself. None of us is really “self-made.” We must all acknowledge the importance of the help, advice, comfort and loyalty that came from others…
John F. Kennedy, whose life we celebrated and whose death we mourned again last week, offered a theologically ambiguous but highly useful injunction. It could be read as the testimony of a serious believer or as signaling, at best, faith in a very distant God. “Here on earth,” Kennedy said in his inaugural address, “God’s work must truly be our own.”…
A call to responsibility lies at the heart of gratitude. If faith without works is dead, gratitude without generosity of spirit is empty. By reminding us of how much we owe to others, or to social arrangements, or to fate, or to God, gratitude creates an obligation to repay our debts by repairing injustices and reaching out to those whom luck has failed. Gratitude is a response to acts of love. It demands more of the same — nothing more, nothing less.
What’s on the agenda in your neighborhood today?