In our country we celebrate Thanksgiving at the end of November but actually there is a spirit of gratitude in the air throughout the month! What is it that arouses gratitude in our hearts, not unlike the spirit of Christmas that arises long before December 25th? A 14th century monk wrote that we only need a scrap of time to move toward God and that maybe our ways of coming toward God some days are all scraps! (Cloud of Unknowing) Couple that idea with Meister Eckhart’s “If the only prayer we ever offer is ‘thank you’ that is enough!” And we can understand why the spirit of gratitude already felt this November is appropriate all year long! There are so many reasons why we can be grateful, day in and day out!
Since our community is celebrating the 100th anniversary of our Sacred Heart Chapel, we have found many ways to mark that centennial event! Recently we gave a concert. One piece of music was the rendition by Gwyneth Walker of e.e.cummings’ ageless poem:
i thank you God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
After hours of practicing this song in which the first line is repeated at least a dozen times, the message and the melody stick to one’s mind—day and night! “I thank you God for most this amazing day. . .” Day after day, year after year, we have been recipients of amazing gifts, amazing people, amazing happenings, amazing revelations from an amazing God! How can we stop from singing? From being grateful? Happy thanksgiving, today and forever!
Renee Domeier, OSB