It’s Thanksgiving time here in the US, time to feed the people again. Perhaps the most American of holidays, at least we try to make it that way. Everyone has things to be thankful for, everyone should have the opportunity to feast a little for the holiday.Everyone has things to be thankful for, everyone should have the opportunity to feast a little for the holiday.
Food drives to provide Thanksgiving meals, these happen all over the country. Generous people helping others, it’s one of the most heartwarming, and hands-on way to connect with others, if only through a little charity.
And so right here at home, here’s how it goes, Thanksgiving food boxes for 150 families. Via the Cupertino DeAnza Lions Club. GOOD.
…without the cloth. “ This idea, this image, from the sci-fi film “Contact”, Matthew McConaughey’s character explains himself this way…
…and it resonated with me then, and it resonates with me now.
Most of my life I’ve felt a sense of personal relationship with God, the Devine, somehow, someway. But I’m no priest, no minister, no mystic…I’m just a guy. I’m just a guy going though life. I’m a dad trying to do right by my kids.
I’m just a guy trying to do right I’m the world, with those around me. I’m just a guy feeling God is right here with us, right now.
I read scripture and sometimes it just resonates, it seems to transcend the hundreds, maybe thousands of years since it was written. Like this, “… and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
I don’t need a special cloth to understand some of it, maybe a lot of it. Let it speak to you. You might be the same.
Deep dive into spiritual practice? Not sure how deep, but yep, let’s go.
These two most often come to mind when I think about saints: Ignatius of Loyola, and Francis of Assisi. They’re my two guys.
I pray frequently, daily really; sometimes multiple times a day; sometimes constantly it seems. Depends on what’s happening in my life.
Since adolescence, prayer has been fundamental to my coping, a mechanism for personal growth, the channel for overall well- being.
When I pray I’m basically talking directly to God. And so I don’t really pray to saints for intercession. Some folks believe in this practice; it’s not so much my thing. I just talk to God.
That said, I do think about how saints lived, and what I can learn from them.
These people, simply humans like us, who have been elevated by other believers (The Church) as more perfect examples of how to live, how to be.
I think about what these people called “saints” did with their lives, and therein seek inspiration, a spark, some way forward.
It’s like studying history for me; it’s history laced with spiritual power and inspiration.
And these two are my guys: Ignatius and Francis.
Ignatius I learned about first. He lived in the 16th century. His spiritual practice, his leadership, his focus on education, these all inspired me. Still do.
And Francis before him, some three hundred years earlier in the 13th century, he inspires me too. His selflessness, his simplicity, his love and his devotion to Jesus.
Much to learn, much to be inspired by.
The Pope (who chose “Francis” as his Papal Name) had this to say today via Twitter:
“Choosing purity, meekness and mercy; choosing to entrust oneself to the Lord in poverty of spirit and in affliction; dedicating oneself to justice and peace – this means going against the current. This evangelical path was trodden by #AllTheSaints and Blesseds. #GospelOfTheDay”
So on All Saints Day, I share this simple insight. And if you’re ever looking for inspiration, consider the these people called “saints.”
Pick a saint that appeals to you, read the history, consider him or her as the person, what their life was about, their story. What might you learn?