To all my USA readers, happy thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving reminds me of an old Irish festival called Lughnasa. Lughnasa (literally, “the assembly of Lugh”) was a month-long harvest festival that took place at the time of the grain harvest (probably late July or early August); it was marked not only by feasting, but also by sporting events and much pageantry. Here in America, we’ve moved our harvest festival to the end of the season (late November), but thanks to the mass media, in addition to our feast we also get plenty of sporting events (televised  football) and pageantry (the Macy’s Parade).

Of course, thanksgiving day also reminds me that whenever Christians gather to celebrate the Holy Eucharist, it’s a “thanksgiving day.” For the Greek word eucharistia means “thanksgiving.” Which means that when we participate in daily mass, it’s thanksgiving every day.

That’s the way to live.

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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Peter

    I confess that I was on a crusade for many years against the celebration of our popular feasts on the grounds that they were mostly shallow and only weakly (if at all) represented the passions and movements of the heart that they were supposed to stand for. For example, when I taught writing to adult GED students, I was very proud of an essay that I had written in the required 45 minute time limit for that part of the GED test, an essay that was a model of correct style and structure, entitled Why Not Christmas?

    But I have mellowed out a bit over the years and have come to see these feasts (including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter) as opportunities for people of faith to share into the community the realities of the heart that we are celebrating, to lift our hearts in worship and thanksgiving, to access the spiritual resources of our heritage and make them available to strengthen the hearts of the people and empower them to reach out for a greater fulfillment of their spiritual destiny.

    In short: Happy Thanksgiving! And may the practice of giving thanks bring the peace and harmony in communion with the Divine that it is designed to provide.

    Blessings to all,