Gratitude counters negative forces in our world

by David Carollo

Dear Friends and Members of the Our Lady’s Blue Army:

Tradition teaches that the pilgrims celebrated a thanksgiving for their first harvest in the new world in 1621. The origin of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States is credited to several presidents. Abraham Lincoln officially declared the national holiday, and in his declaration in 1871, Ulysses S. Grant stated how we should conduct ourselves on this special day:

“I therefore recommend that on Thursday, the (30th) day of November next, the people meet in their respective places of worship, and there make the usual acknowledgments to Almighty God for the blessings he has conferred upon them”

Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings family and friends together. The underlying theme of all these celebrations is gratitude. The founders and succeeding leaders knew that the success of this new land was dependent on Divine providence and wanted people to acknowledge this reality. Gratitude for a good harvest, for liberty in a new land, for peace after the Civil War. Then and now we thank God for His care over us and the many blessings bestowed upon our land. Most importantly we thank God for the liberty to practice our Faith.

Today, increasingly, it marks the beginning of the season so defined by commercialism and secular thought, but as Catholics, we usher in the season of Advent, preparing for the coming of the Savior. This is the real reason why we must be thankful; that we have been given another chance to partake in the life everlasting.

As you gather with family and friends on Thanksgiving, we hope you can push away the negative forces that pummel us daily, and recall the many blessings and favors that have been granted us by Our Lord and Our Lady.

Do not forget to begin the Christmas prayer on the feast of St. Andrew, this Saturday, Nov. 30. It is piously believed that those who pray this prayer 15 times daily during this time until Christmas Eve will receive the favors that they ask for.

“Hail and Blessed be the hour and the moment when the Son of God was born to the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires through the merits of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen”

I personally want to thank all of our benefactors who make our apostolate possible. Tuesday, Dec. 3 is Giving Tuesday. Any help that you can give us on this day, or any other day is very much appreciated.

Happy Thanksgiving.

David M. Carollo
Executive Director

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