Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Thoughts - A Sorrowful Thanksgiving Can Be Full of Hope

Psalm 42
Like the deer that yearns for running streams,
so my soul is yearning for you, my God.
My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life;
when can I enter and see the face of God?
My tears have become my bread, by night, by day,
as I hear it said all the day long: "Where is your God?"
These things will I remember as I pour out my soul:
how I would lead the rejoicing crowd into the house of God,
amid cries of gladness and thanksgiving, the throng wild with joy.
Why are you cast down, my soul, why groan within me?
Hope in God; I will praise him still, my savior and my God.
My soul is cast down within me as I think of you,
from the country of Jordan and Mount Hermon,
from the Hill of Mizar.
Deep is calling on deep, in the roar of waters;
your torrents and all your waves swept over me.
By day the Lord will send his loving kindness;
by night I will sing to him, praise the God of my life.
I will say to God, my rock:
"Why have your forgotten me? Why do I go mourning oppressed by the foe?"
With cries that pierce me to the heart, my enemies revile me,
saying to me all day long: "Where is your God?"
Why are you cast down, my soul, why groan within me?
Hope in God; I will praise him still,
my savior and my God. 

Thanksgiving is normally a time of joy and celebration. We, as a nation, give thanks for what we have, tangible and intangible, material and immaterial, property and family. As Catholics, we remember that every gift comes from the Lord. Thanksgiving for many is a time of sorrow. It comes with the thought, 'is there anything I really have to give thanks for this year?' Unemployment has continued. The divorce rate is still unnecessarily high. Many, who in previous years where able to provide a Thanksgiving meal, will have to rely on the generosity of others.

Psalm 42 provides great comfort. It shows to us, joyful and not, that no matter our situation we can sing with "cries of gladness and thanksgiving." Our soul can be downcast even depressed and the Lord can seem so far away and we can still sing to Him at night. Our desire for him is like that of deer for water. Without him we will die. All around us advertisements, TV shows, novels, et al, cry out "Where is your God!?" They taunt us day and night reviling our faith as infantile. "Hope in God; I will praise him still, my savior and my God." That reviling is no matter. It is the crying our of faithless souls desiring for the same that we desire, the font of living water.

During this time of thanksgiving, let us be thankful for our faith and hope.

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