Resolution of Gratitude

This time last year, I decided to go to Montana to visit my mother for Thanksgiving. She is 95, paralyzed, blind, and living at St. John’s Assisted Living in Billings, about two hours from where she and Dad raised our family. I gathered a couple of friends who were up for a road trip and we easily made the 9-hour drive for a brief visit for some loving family renewal. On the returning trip we hit one of those terrific Wyoming blizzards which shut us down in Cheyenne for an extra day. All things considered it was an amazing Thanksgiving. So much to be thankful for.


When we look at what we did at this time last year, we see that the world has changed. What a change, indeed, with political, social, economic upheavals, you name it. Plans and dreams have been put on hold and our accustomed ways of doing things has been changed. One can only hope and pray for the health care workers and their charges, for teachers and their students, for all those caught in the coronavirus web of anxiety and fear. So many of us miss our loved ones, some in isolation, some of blessed memory who have passed away.


Yet, in story after story, within families and friends an abundance of spiritual growth is happening. Many are finding the time on their hands for deeper prayer, family time, time to reinvest in significant relationships. We hear of anxiety and depression. But for those who are finding time to pursue the spiritual goods available, this quiet time of spiritual growth comes about not in spite of, but because of our difficulties.


St. Paul said, “Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:10) We are each of us endowed with a human spirit which is the strongest part of us. It is the part which is the last to leave our bodies when we die, and the part of us which is meant to live forever. Yet in times like this our spirit becomes weak and will be overcome if we don’t spiritually reorient and refasten ourselves. Our spirit only finds its truest purpose when it rests in the Spirit of God. And it is Jesus, the human face of God, Jesus, the Good Samaritan, who brings to our human spirit the truest sense of presence and accompaniment. That is why his disciples followed him. When our human spirit discovers Jesus, there is nothing that can stop us.


Within some communities here in southern Colorado, now, a new missionary spirit is arising. A new awareness and urgency of our people. The question of HOW will we ever get together to worship again? Is bringing forth an answer: WHEN we get back into church, LET’s BRING SOMEBODY BACK WITH US. As Pope Francis says, it is time to plan our future on the footprint of the Risen Christ. There is no going back to preconditions. This time of waiting and preparation is unique for every soul, and precious to every life. Let’s revisit our sacred scriptures and again, open the living words of our Bible. Let’s give the Lord this time to do with us as He wills.