As I was shopping in the local grocery store the other day, I was struck by the Christmas decorations that went up almost immediately after Halloween. Although I am inspired by this enthusiasm for the Christmas season, we cannot forget about Thanksgiving. Consequently, as a rule, I will not allow myself to listen to Christmas music until then, despite the fact that I am extremely tempted. After all, Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate the countless and abundant gifts we are blessed with, especially as Americans. A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with Margaret Weber, the Director of Admissions, and she shared with me the theme of a book she was reading. According to this particular author, the spirit of gratitude is the key to experiencing miracles in life. In fact, without being thankful for the blessings bestowed on us by God, it is nearly impossible for our minds to be opened to the incredible beauty and splendor which permeates the world in which we live.
I think it is so easy for us to become overwhelmed by the changes of life, caught up in the little things, that we forget the bigger picture. We take for granted the incredible blessing it is just to be alive, to be furnished with basic necessities, such as food, shelter, and clothing. Especially in light of Hurricane Sandy, we are reminded of the numerous luxuries we rely on daily. Such tragedies often bring to our attention these blessings which we take for granted, such as power, possessions, and homes.
Reflecting upon the hurricane and looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday, my awareness of the magnificence of life has been greatly magnified. During this time of year, we become so easily stressed out with work, classes, papers and exams, but looking at the bigger picture, things are once again put into perspective. As the year is drawn to a close, I can’t help but be thankful for the eventful and fast-paced semester we have experienced here at Franciscan. There seems to be a certain restless anticipation in the student body, as we hand in papers, take exams, and make plans for Thanksgiving break. For myself, the end of this semester marks the end of my full-time academic career. Next semester I will only be taking 10 credits as opposed to this semester in which I took 18. Whew! I must say, Christmas cannot come soon enough! I hope that my blog finds you very well as we approach the ending of 2012. Remember to live in the moment and enjoy the celebration of Thanksgiving. Make sure you eat plenty of turkey, but leave some room for that slice of pumpkin pie!