In the great Christian tradition of novenas,
I am starting today a nine-day preparation for Thanksgiving Day.
All major and important holy days in Christianity are celebrated
with a nine-day preparation, culminating with the feast itself.
Gratitude is a deeply spiritual virtue.
In a culture of competitive individualism,
I can easily lose sight of the others in my life.
Gratitude is the awareness and appreciation of the fact that I am not alone.
I can do things for myself but I definitely need others to complete and fulfill me.
Often, what others do for me is unbidden and undeserved
– reminding me that all is gift.
In a world where every man to himself is an acceptable norm of behavior,
gratitude makes me aware of our need for one another.
In being grateful, I am reminded and inspired to do good for and by others.
Gratitude, like love, starts with a deep realization,
made in silence and reflection,
of the goodness and love that others bring into my life.
But gratitude is not complete until it is expressed
and made tangible by a word, a gesture, or a smile.
Very much like love.
Today, I am grateful for the four days Anabelle and I
Have just for ourselves in the paradise island of Boracay.
The past months have been difficult as we made yet another
major move, another uprooting, another new adventure,
as we try to seek together the Lord’s will for us.
We do not have the patience and the energy of our younger days anymore.
But the willingness and the daring to boldly go where we haven’t gone before
are still there, strong and burning.
I am deeply grateful that Anabelle still is willing and eager
to embark on such quixotic but enriching journeys.
I thank God for giving me a partner in her.