It Is Truly Right and Just to Give Thanks

 

Today is the great American holiday of Thanksgiving. It’s not a religious holiday, and yet it is religious. It is a day to thank God for all the blessings he has given us. Since all religions, I think, thank God in some way and since we have many religions in the United States living side by side, this is a perfect American holiday. One that we can all share.

But we Catholics know gratitude to the Lord in a special way. Every Mass as part of the Eucharistic Prayer (part of the consecration of the bread and wine) we offer God our thanks. This exchange which leads to the Eucharistic Prayer should be familiar to Catholics.

Priest:  The Lord be with you.

People:  And with your spirit.

Priest:  Lift up your hearts.

People:  We lift them up to the Lord.

Priest:  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People:  It is right and just.

The bold is my emphasis to highlight the formal gratitude to the Lord. And then the priest goes into one of several Eucharistic Prayer choices, but each at the beginning recapitulates the words of the rightness and justness of being thankful. I’ll just quote the opening of Eucharistic Prayer II, again my emphasis:

It is truly right and just, our duty and salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Father most holy, through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, your Word through whom you made all things, whom you sent as our Savior and Redeemer, incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin. Fulfilling your will and gaining for you a holy people, he stretched out his hands as he endured his Passion, so as to break the bonds of death and manifest the resurrection…”

It goes on, but part of our liturgical prayer is a formal thanksgiving to the Father most holy. As a liturgy, it is repeated as a sacred rite.

And so in our “liturgical” calendar as Americans, we have this day to give thanks for all our blessings, personal and national, to the creator God of our understanding. This is what you should take away from this. It is right and just and our duty to give thanks. It is the sacred rite we come to every year, repeated with friends and family gathered together at our table of blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Published in Religion & Philosophy
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  1. Brian Scarborough Coolidge
    Brian Scarborough
    @Teeger

    I very much appreciate your emphasis on thanking God instead of just being generally thankful. I tire of those who ignore God in their thanks. 

    I see this secularizing tendency among conservatives as well as liberals. I have seen two articles just today in conservative websites that do just that. One said “Thank goodness” of all things. Another said that we should thank members of the military. It sounds great, but Thanksgiving is a day to honor God not each other. I appreciate that we should thank those who defend our country, but some try to make mention of it for every holiday. 

    Memorial day and Veterans day are about them, not Thanksgiving or even the Fourth of July. Let’s give honor to all who deserve it, but let’s give thanks to Him who deserves all praise.

    • #1
  2. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    A few years ago we were in Washington, DC to spend Thanksgiving with the in-laws.  They didn’t really believe in God and being thankful was an exercise in Unitarian sprinkles and twinkles.  So we took our son to Mass at St. Matthew’s.  It’s the church where my parents were married and from where President Kennedy was buried.  On the floor in front of the altar they have a medallion and inscription in the floor marking where the President’s casket rested during mass.  Thankful for my parents and thankful for this One Nation, under God, indivisible.

    • #2
  3. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Brian Scarborough (View Comment):

    I very much appreciate your emphasis on thanking God instead of just being generally thankful. I tire of those who ignore God in their thanks.

    I see this secularizing tendency among conservatives as well as liberals. I have seen two articles just today in conservative websites that do just that. One said “Thank goodness” of all things. Another said that we should thank members of the military. It sounds great, but Thanksgiving is a day to honor God not each other. I appreciate that we should thank those who defend our country, but some try to make mention of it for every holiday.

    Memorial day and Veterans day are about them, not Thanksgiving or even the Fourth of July. Let’s give honor to all who deserve it, but let’s give thanks to Him who deserves all praise.

    Even the atheists are thanking God on Thanksgiving.  Who else could they be thanking?  

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Manny (View Comment):

    Brian Scarborough (View Comment):

    I very much appreciate your emphasis on thanking God instead of just being generally thankful. I tire of those who ignore God in their thanks.

    I see this secularizing tendency among conservatives as well as liberals. I have seen two articles just today in conservative websites that do just that. One said “Thank goodness” of all things. Another said that we should thank members of the military. It sounds great, but Thanksgiving is a day to honor God not each other. I appreciate that we should thank those who defend our country, but some try to make mention of it for every holiday.

    Memorial day and Veterans day are about them, not Thanksgiving or even the Fourth of July. Let’s give honor to all who deserve it, but let’s give thanks to Him who deserves all praise.

    Even the atheists are thanking God on Thanksgiving. Who else could they be thanking?

    Stochastic processes. The same ones that ran entropy backwards long enough for inanimate chemicals to become a self-sustaining process that the superstitious call “life.”

    God, You made it a lot of work to be an atheist. I don’t know how they do it.

    • #4
  5. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    • #5
  6. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Percival (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Brian Scarborough (View Comment):

    I very much appreciate your emphasis on thanking God instead of just being generally thankful. I tire of those who ignore God in their thanks.

    I see this secularizing tendency among conservatives as well as liberals. I have seen two articles just today in conservative websites that do just that. One said “Thank goodness” of all things. Another said that we should thank members of the military. It sounds great, but Thanksgiving is a day to honor God not each other. I appreciate that we should thank those who defend our country, but some try to make mention of it for every holiday.

    Memorial day and Veterans day are about them, not Thanksgiving or even the Fourth of July. Let’s give honor to all who deserve it, but let’s give thanks to Him who deserves all praise.

    Even the atheists are thanking God on Thanksgiving. Who else could they be thanking?

    Stochastic processes. The same ones that ran entropy backwards long enough for inanimate chemicals to become a self-sustaining process that the superstitious call “life.”

    God, You made it a lot of work to be an atheist. I don’t know how they do it.

    My thoughts exactly. 

    • #6
  7. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Percival (View Comment):

    That’s brilliant! I have never heard of him or that quote before. 

    • #7
  8. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    I looked up Heisenberg. Among other things, the discoverer of quantum mechanics. So he’s the one to blame for my grade in that class back in college. ;). Kidding aside, the man was obviously a genius given all his accomplishments, and rightly deserving the Nobel prize.  And a very honorable man. He apparently sabotaged the Nazi development of the nuclear bomb. 

    • #8
  9. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Manny (View Comment):

    I looked up Heisenberg. Among other things, the discoverer of quantum mechanics. So he’s the one to blame for my grade in that class back in college. ;). Kidding aside, the man was obviously a genius given all his accomplishments, and rightly deserving the Nobel prize. And a very honorable man. He apparently sabotaged the Nazi development of the nuclear bomb.

    I was going to say that you’ve surely heard of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

    • #9
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I looked up Heisenberg. Among other things, the discoverer of quantum mechanics. So he’s the one to blame for my grade in that class back in college. ;). Kidding aside, the man was obviously a genius given all his accomplishments, and rightly deserving the Nobel prize. And a very honorable man. He apparently sabotaged the Nazi development of the nuclear bomb.

    I was going to say that you’ve surely heard of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

    Maybe. Maybe not.

    • #10
  11. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I looked up Heisenberg. Among other things, the discoverer of quantum mechanics. So he’s the one to blame for my grade in that class back in college. ;). Kidding aside, the man was obviously a genius given all his accomplishments, and rightly deserving the Nobel prize. And a very honorable man. He apparently sabotaged the Nazi development of the nuclear bomb.

    I was going to say that you’ve surely heard of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

    Well, looking it up, it’s probably something I should have learned in college, but it’s the type of thing I would instantaneously forget once out of that class. ;)

    • #11
  12. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Manny (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I looked up Heisenberg. Among other things, the discoverer of quantum mechanics. So he’s the one to blame for my grade in that class back in college. ;). Kidding aside, the man was obviously a genius given all his accomplishments, and rightly deserving the Nobel prize. And a very honorable man. He apparently sabotaged the Nazi development of the nuclear bomb.

    I was going to say that you’ve surely heard of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

    Well, looking it up, it’s probably something I should have learned in college, but it’s the type of thing I would instantaneously forget once out of that class. ;)

    It’s like Schrodinger’s Cat; something I probably learned most about reading science fiction.

    • #12