Thursday, November 27, 2014
Abraham Lincoln, in his Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863, said the following:
“[T]hose nations are blessed whose God is the Lord… It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.”
What a powerful message from our 16th president, the president who kept our country united!
Today you and I as members of St. Gregory the Great Parish are called to offer such praise to God as the source of all our blessings.
You are well aware that Thanksgiving and Christmas are becoming increasingly secularized; this is nothing new – it has been happening for decades. By “secularism” I mean the ideology that the worldly/temporal must be always distinguished from the spiritual, that religious belief must always be separated out of public life. At one point in the 1930’s, Thanksgiving Day, which had been established by Lincoln as the last Thursday of the month of November, was moved up one week earlier to allow for more shopping time prior to Christmas.
As Catholics we do not live as if our daily lives are separate from our religious lives. We integrate the two and believe that our faith in God affects our everyday lives and that faith should also have a place in the public life of our country.
May you and I live Thanksgiving Day in the spirit of the Pilgrims, George Washington and Lincoln, in a spirit of love and joy, by offering thanks to Whom it belongs: our Creator, our Father in Heaven.