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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Making Memories and Giving Thanks

Four of our five children and their families will be joining us for Thanksgiving. Three will be staying with us. That means six adults and thirteen children sleeping over for several days and ten adults and fifteen children for Thanksgiving dinner. Whew! But what a joyful anticipation! As a Catholic grandma I have two goals -- creating memories and reminding everybody Who needs to be thanked for all the blessings we enjoy.

Since out-of-towners are arriving on Tuesday and Wednesday, I'm hoping for good weather so we can have a bonfire Wednesday night with hot dogs, s'mores, and a rosary of thanksgiving (or at least a few decades). Wednesday the men plan to play golf and I'm searching for craft ideas for the children. I think a thanksgiving jar would be great but when do we read the entries? Perhaps Thanksgiving night as a bedtime prayer activity. How I wish we could all sit around the same table together for the feast, but even with all the leaves in the table our max squeeze is 16 which leaves another eight (and a high chair) in the mix. So we will be in two rooms. The kids will love having their own table and I expect the adults won't mind having some grown-up conversation -- one more thing for which to be thankful. We are so blessed to have a house big enough to host everyone, something we deliberately thought about when we retired to the country and
chose the "family retreat center" over the tiny retirement cottage. One more blessing! Our little playground with swings made by Larry, a teeter-totter, climbing gym and trampoline will get plenty of use too.

God made the extended family to be "the village" that raises the child. In the Catholic world of subsidiarity the family is the foundation that builds the community. Despite the election of a demagogue intent on turning the family into an unrecognizable monstrosity, Catholic families centered on the faith will continue to thrive and witness to the world. Larry and I will start Thanksgiving morning with Mass and invite anyone who wishes to join us. I hope we'll have at least a long pewful. And when we gather together to say grace before the feast, I will rejoice at all the fresh young faces surrounding us. Because despite all the bad news and the growing darkness of the culture of death, those little ones are like candles whose light not only dispels the darkness but shows how powerless it really is.

God is still God, the great I AM who made the world and all that is in it. This vale of tears will one day end, and all the faithful will go rejoicing into the heavenly Jerusalem. Every tear will be wiped away and we will enjoy everlasting bliss in the company of the angels and saints. In the meantime, give thanks for every day no matter how dark it may seem. The Light of the World reigns.


susan said...

just beautiful (!).... God bless you and yours.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thanks Susan -- Ditto!