Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 276 - Thanksgiving

The American tradition of family gatherings and food special to each family must be bad for pessimists.  It is bad enough that they have to be around the people in their family to which they were born, but then to have to be thankful that they have eaten so much that they need to take a nap for round two of the Joe Frasier's Eating Ring, ding ding is just too much to admit.  We are happy.  Among the chaos of brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, mothers and fathers, dogs and cats, grandmas and grandpas, sons and daughters, the familiarity sings a song of contentment. This is the way at has been and this is the way we always want it to be.  Chaos and all.

So for this Thanksgiving, I give you with the words from St. Theresa. The Saint which I picked my confirmation name after.  St. Theresa, although there is still a debate in catholicism over which St. Theresa coined the phrase.  St. Theresa de Avilla or St.Therese de Lisieux?  Either way, they are words of wisdom that brings out the thankfulness in even the worst pessimists...

May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.  

May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

It is there for each and every one of us.

St. Theresa had her conversion at age 14, joined the Carmelite order in Liseaux the next year, and in less than a decade became a giant of Catholicism by preaching smallness. She described her life as “the little way”: 

‘What matters,” she wrote, “is not great deeds, but great love.’” Holiness is an everyday thing. Of a person who found spirituality in what’s immediate and vulnerable, one might expect similes of flowers. So was Theresa’s dainty theology.

From her Story of a Soul: “Jesus set the book of nature before me and I saw that all the flowers he has created are lovely. The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. I realized that if every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness and there would be no wildflowers to make the meadows gay. It is just the same in the world of souls.”

This is more true than false even as it relates to my confirmation.  Baptized Catholic at the age of three months or so, I was raised by who ever would take me to church religiously.  No pun intended.  I attended different churches with each of my different friends, and believe me each of them were different, Luthern, Mormon, Catholic, Non-denominational or Pentecostal and Catholic.  There was just something about Catholicism that just "felt right" to me.  The discipline pattern of rigid structure helps anyone get through the uncertainty of a crisis.  So it was always a place for me to know that I would be confirmed but it wasn't until my last year in college that I studied privately under Father Bungo (thought that was such a funny name for a priest) and became confirmed. 

So my first two names Brenda-jean are followed by Theresa and then my surnames.  I chose Theresa because she was a saint of young age and innocence and knew a young age that doing the right thing like feeding the homeless and needy was her calling.  Even then it was evident that doing the right thing was just in my bones.  So at times when I don't like all of the evil within the Catholic church, it still is what we call "meat and potatoes."  What we mean by this is that wherever you attend a Catholic church, the mass will always be in the same order, with the same stand up, sit down, stand up and kneel down, then stand up and sit down again procession. 

So for Thanksgiving, I'm at peace and thankful for the meat and potatoes of my religion.  Pass the gravy.

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