Gratefulness is the Heart of Prayer
Eucharistia is from the
Greek, meaning "Thanksgiving". From this word
we derive the name of the most important, needed and
powerful prayer of all time--the Mass, otherwise known
as The Eucharist.
This week-which many
souls consider the most likeable holiday or
"holyday" because of its relaxed nature-- we
stop to give thanks for so many things. As Catholics and
as human beings we need to give thanks. Why? Because:
- This is what saints
and holy people have always done-eucharist-give thanks
especially to God; it is part of our nature-to
acknowledge that blessings and essential things in life
are provided for and to us. This is what the Plymouth
pilgrims did when they arrived in this country-even in
the midst of famine, death and challenges-they thanked
God for His Divine Providence. Many people today,
though, want to remove God from the picture of
Thanksgiving. But secularists and atheists cannot be so
successful--just remember: His name is on all our money
--"In God we trust"
- Another reason to
give thanks is that we creatures can often get, or stay,
selfish: we forget the many blessings God-and
others-have given to us, and we often think of how much
more we want or supposedly need. Thus we have to
regularly take time to express our thankfulness so as
not to lose sense of the abundance God and others have
given us. When we are genuinely grateful, we have less
time, then, to become selfish, self-pitying and
self-occupied, a phenomenon, unfortunately, which our
culture so often manipulates.
Consider, and give
- To our God: He,
Ultimate Reality, the Most Blessed Trinity, is the One
"thing" all people search and yearn for-even
when doing evil things-and despite so much futility and
mentalities-- He is all around us, above and below us, a
Trinitarian and blissful, uncreated Being of Love and
Friendship. He is our Creator- Father, our Redeemer -
Son and Sanctifier - Holy Spirit. And He wants us not
only to love, serve and follow Him, but for us to become
like Him! Can you think of anything, Anyone, to be more
- To our Church: Jesus is
the Divine Founder of our Holy Catholic Church, which
now continues vibrantly today, with the heroic and
inspiring help of the Slavic Pope, John Paul II. The
Church is the physical and spiritual extension of Jesus
on Earth-as He said He would never leave us orphan. Let
us thank God for the myriad blessings He extends by the
defined dogmas and doctrines which enlighten minds and
elevate souls, the sacraments which bring us to the
Lord, the saints, saintly and holy places and shrines
and beautiful churches, the sacramentals, the
compassionate and challenging teachings of the popes,
the artists and musicians and priests and religious and
lay-faithful who labor for Holy Mother Church.
- To the Virgin Mother of
God: St. Hildgarde of Bingen (+1097) described Mary as
"A respendent jewel of unclouded brightness."
Yes, that is what Mary is, and was: a pure, and
light-filled body and soul-like a diamond-which held the
Uncreated Light of Jesus and spread Him radiantly to the
world. There was no sin or defilements
("clouds") in her, like us. Thank God for His
maternal love through the Virgin!
- For our Country: Of all
the lands in the world, from Europe to Asia to South
America to Africa, The U.S. of A. shines above all
others. Her mountains, seas, plains and rolling hills;
her various groups of peoples and customs, her native
and immigrant peoples are awe-inspiring, we should be
thankful for all this. And Maryland is often called
"America in miniature." Some of us may say,
"Why live anywhere else?" Amen!
- For our air - (some are
on respirators or have asthma).
- For our food - (2,400
people, mostly children, starve each day).
- For the shelter over
our heads - (there are homeless in big cities, small
towns and around the comer).
- For all the modern
conveniences and modem helps - (phones and cars and
computers and electricity), and all the many
"small" and subtle blessings and graces God
Give thanks for all---eucharistia!
other Sermons by Father John J. Lombardi