“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.”                                                                                                                                –A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Gratitude, of course, is a word that could be associated with Thanksgiving.  It’s a practice that can be learned or acquired over time and be small at the beginning and then be expanded out to all parts of our existence.  Some years ago, a friend of mine shared that she kept a “gratitude journal” where at the end of each day she wrote down a list of maybe five to ten things for which she was grateful …some were big things, others were simply small moments of grace.  She said it was a way to honor the gifts given in a day rather than dwelling on the difficulties the day may have had. 

I decided one year to keep a “gratitude journal” of my own.  It was a time at the end of each day to consider those graced moments that made my heart expand…and it certainly had a transforming effect.  My approach to life, I believe, became more open-hearted, generous, and joyful.  Not that there weren’t times when things were dark, or sad, or hurtful.  But instead of dwelling on those times or situations, looking for the small, wonderful little moments of grace each day helped me tap into the bigger picture.  At the end of that year, looking back through that journal and the patterns that emerged, I could appreciate so much more how life had been and how our Provident God’s finger had touched it all.

I suppose it is like the time of harvesting.  You take what the harvest gives and receive it with a grateful heart.  Sort of like life, we take what is offered at each stage of it, learn from it, and being patient with ourselves along the way, accept the gifts it brings. 

There certainly might be some uh-oh moments.  I googled that little two word phrase: “uh-oh.”  The definition said it was used to convey dismay, concern, or surprise.  Last week at Mass, right at the consecration time, when the host was elevated and the bells were rung, a little child’s voice from the back of church said clearly: “Uh-oh.”  Again, right at the elevation of the chalice, the bells rung, and she clearly once again said, “uh-oh.”  It really struck me the first time, but then when it happened the second, it really caught my attention.  Was she dismayed, concerned, or surprised?  Was she calling attention to the sacredness happening right before our very eyes?   It felt like she was saying, “Pay attention people, Jesus is right here!”  “Take it all in!”  “Be grateful for the gift of Himself that Jesus brings to us right now!” 

Eucharist means “thanksgiving.”  Uh-oh, have we forgotten that?  For me that morning, it was a little reminder, a graced moment if you will, to be grateful for the life Jesus shares with me in giving me His Body and Blood.  Thanksgiving reminds us to be grateful for the gifts we have been given; but let’s not just do it on one day, let’s remember to be grateful each day!  And just like Piglet, let’s remember to open our small hearts, be aware of the “uh-oh” moments in our lives, and live with larger hearts full of gratitude.

Wishing each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Barbara McMullen, CDP





Contact / Location

Contact info

123, New Lenox, Chicago IL 60606

Gathering Times


8:00am, 9:15am, 11:00am

Events / Calendar