There are three main things I have to be thankful for:
- Health. I’ve often heard it said that if you ain’t got your health, you ain’t got nothing. Over the past year, I’ve learned that this is true. You can’t focus, can’t enjoy simple things, and find it very difficult to function and do the basic necessary chores.
- People. All my life, I have been afraid of people, and to a degree, I still am. People bring irritation, but they also bring joy and happiness, and I never realized that more than I did this year, so I am deeply thankful for the people in my life.
- Memory. Someone said recently that they were thankful for their mind, that it worked properly. In a similar way, I am glad for my memory, that I can look back on all the things I have enjoyed over the years.
And I am thankful for you, the reader, because you listen to my ramblings. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!
Weirdly enough, when I think of greatness, I think of Tony the Tiger going, “They’re grrrrreat!” when referring to Frosted Flakes. The world (or at least our American society) seems to think of greatness in this way, too. Something that stands out from the rest, something to encourage others to consume, something that’s well known, well worth the money, well worth the time invested, and so on. You’re great if you are successful, if you manage to overcome odds and climb to the top of the pile.
Can you be great on the bottom of the pile? Can one of the “least of these” be great? I think so.
Greatness can be loud and shared with others (the world’s way), and greatness can be more unassuming and self-contained (God’s way). To me, to be great is to influence others with your actions more than with your words, because people will discount what you say when you start to do something that contradicts it. To be great is to be humble, to do the right thing without expecting a reward or praise, to live an ordinary life with no grandiose plans, to let others have the spotlight.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less. —C.S. Lewis
Happy Easter! Yes, it’s still technically Easter in the Catholic Church. It’s going to be Easter until June 4, the feast of Pentecost. But anyway… I was musing about a homily I heard from our parish priest a few weeks ago. I’m sure it’s nothing new, but every now and then, people need to hear the same thing they’ve heard before as a reminder.
The message was deceptively simple: Put it in the tomb. All your worries, fears, anxieties, grudges, grievances, anger… anything icky inside your soul. Make a good confession. Take all that mess in your soul, put in the tomb and roll the stone over it. Then forget about it. It’s in the tomb, and it’s gone.
Sounds easy, but the reality of the task is more difficult than you’d initially think. I imagine sins as clinging, heavy wisteria vines draped around a person’s soul (just without the beauty and lovely scent). You have to work to pry them off. You may even have to cut them, and it may be painful. Rolling the stone over the tomb is not easy either. After all, it’s a heavy burden, and keeping your past sins and grievances out of your head is hard, especially when you are faced with daily struggles and memories that threaten to bring them all back.
One day, when the stone is rolled away from the tomb, we will find that our sins have been defeated and our weakness has been made perfect. Until that day… we struggle to remain close to God and keep our Baptismal promises to Him.