Thursday, November 26, 2009

On Thanksgiving Day.

For the first time since I entered the Society of Jesus, I'm spending Thanksgiving Day with my family in Massachusetts. The fact that I'm usually far from my family on this holiday makes me additionally grateful that I'm able to spend the day with them this year. I'm also grateful to be in Massachusetts on what I still think of as the quintessential New England holiday.

For common reflection on the meaning of Thanksgiving Day, I offer some words from 19th-century writer and editor Sarah Josepha Hale, who did much to popularize this holiday:
Our good ancestors were wise, even in their mirth. We have a standing proof of this in the season they chose for the celebration of our annual reflection, the Thanksgiving. The funeral-faced month of November is thus made to wear a garland of joy . . .

There is a deep moral influence in these periodical seasons of rejoicing, in which a whole community participate. They bring out, and together, as it were, the best sympathies of our nature. The rich contemplate the enjoyments of the poor with complacency, and the poor regard the entertainments of the rich without envy, because all are privileged to be happy in their own way.
Happy Thanksgiving to all readers. AMDG.


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