Note of Thanks

Dear Parishioners,

I have failed miserably!

You see, I try to be diligent in sending thank you notes. I may not always be so prompt about it, but I seriously make the effort. Over the past month, your wave of concern and prayers and love which has come in the form of food and cards and messages and books and baskets has overwhelmed me! Some of these days have been a little foggy and I’m afraid I have lost track of what came from whom. So it was with a little bit of guilt, I read the line in the second reading this week, “In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you…”

Please know that I do give thanks for every drop of that wave of concern. I am deeply grateful even if, this time, I may not be able to express it in a written note, although I still maintain those notes are important. Have you read that book (365 Thank yous, John Kralik) from a few years ago about how writing thank you notes changed a man’s life?

The author was living through a low point in his life. His small law firm was doing poorly and losing money. He was going through a divorce, living in a terrible apartment, sleeping on the floor under an ancient air-conditioner. During a mountain hike, he got lost and upon finally finding his way down, he was inspired to write one note of thanks a day. At first, it was easy enough to write to people who were close to him, but eventually a challenge set in.

By the end of the year, the act of expressing thanks day in and day out changed the way he approached life. It even brought him back to church! “Although I had considered myself something of an atheist for years,” he said, “I had developed the notion of being blessed with grace, that grace was still available to all, even me.”

This bit of wisdom from Thessalonians comes at the perfect time of year. It reminds us that those whose lives are marked with gratitude, infused with thankfulness, receive a particular blessing of grace reserved for them. It is rooted in the conviction that God is involved in all things and so some blessing, some goodness, may be found as well. In that conviction, they are made well. They are made whole.

In these festive weeks of celebration, let gratefulness settle into the center of your heart. For things great and small. For food and friends and family, be grateful. For carols and lights and trees, be grateful. For crisp air and warm gloves, be grateful.

And don’t forget to write a thank you note……even if it’s one you can’t really send… because it is the thought that counts…..

Father John