As Thanksgiving approaches, we can take a minute to learn how to thank God like the saints did.
St. Thomas’s prayer after Mass, the ultimate feast, went as follows:
Lord, Father all-powerful and ever-living God, I thank You, for even though I am a sinner, your unprofitable servant, not because of my worth but in the kindness of your mercy, You have fed me with the Precious Body and Blood of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that this Holy Communion may not bring me condemnation and punishment but forgiveness and salvation. May it be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will.
May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my evil passions.
May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience, and growth in the power to do good.
May it be my strong defense against all my enemies, visible and invisible, and the perfect calming of all my evil impulses, bodily and spiritual.
May it unite me more closely to you, the One true God, and lead me safely through death to everlasting happiness with You.
And I pray that You will lead me, a sinner, to the banquet where you, with Your Son and holy Spirit, are true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end, and perfect happiness to your saints. grant this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
St. Thomas reminds us that first, we are all sinners and ought to pray like the sinner in the back of the Temple and not like the Pharisees (Thank you, God, for not making me like my no-good co-worker!).
Second, in an act of infinite mercy, we’ve been given the body and blood of Christ for our forgiveness and salvation. It is this unfathomable gift above all else that we should thank God. Heaven is our ultimate home–God-willing–not Target, no matter how blissful it feels wandering the aisles…except during the weekends or after school, which is decidedly less heavenly-feeling!
Our prayers against our enemies are mostly prayers for virtue: no foe is to be feared more than our own sinfulness. Peace will come as soon as we slay our own disordered passions, which includes obsessive promo code hunting.
St. Thomas shows us how to be thankful for everything, including our work (which definitely includes shopping and decorating and serving and wrapping) without becoming overly attached to it all. This Thanksgiving let’s thank God for the beautiful work that He’s given to us, and thank Him especially that this isn’t as good as it gets.
Heaven awaits and St. Peter doesn’t accept Groupons.
Copyright 2015 Meg Matenaer.
Photo by DodgertonSkillhause (2013) via Morguefile.