Catholic Thanksgiving

Mikayla Anderson

Here are 10 Inspiring Thanksgiving Quotes for Catholics

Here are ten Catholic quotes that remind us how and why we can be thankful, not just while we celebrate Thanksgiving, but every day.

“When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” - G.K. Chesterton

Life is always full of many blessings. We are blessed with food, a roof over our head, clothes, shoes, a car, jobs, and so on. How often do we complain about these things? How often do we take the things we have in life for granted? In some parts of the world, families do not have enough food or a shelter to stay in. In some area, children have to march to a clean-ish water well instead of going to a sink.

“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” - St. Ambrose

Thankfulness is key to changing the culture. When people are thankful and they let others know, they are recognizing the work others do to serve them. As Catholics, we strive to imitate Jesus, who is the Servant and came to serve us during this time on earth. When we are not thankful, we are not recognizing Christ and the value of the other person. We especially forget to be thankful to the ones closest to us. Find a way to thank someone close to you, your spouse, parents, siblings, etc.

“In all created things discern the providence and wisdom of God, and in all things give Him thanks.” - St. Teresa of Avila

We always need to be giving thanks to the Lord. Without him, nothing is possible. Our whole life must be ordered to give the Lord thanks through our thoughts, actions and prayers. Our infinite God created us, finite human beings to love Him. How crazy is that? God made each little thing for our good. Take 5 minutes today and tell God what gifts from Him you are thankful for.

“Remember the past with gratitude. Live the present with Enthusiasm. Look forward to the future with confidence.”- St. John Paul II

Pope St. John Paul II was a man of gratitude and wisdom. In our lives, we do not do everything as perfectly as we want as a result of the fall, or we get put in bad situations through the way we were raised or the choices we made. We must accept our past to move forward in our lives. Whatever struggles we faced, we must thank God for the opportunity to suffer. If we had an easier past, we must thank God for the blessings He has given us. Either way, we must be grateful for the journey He has taken us on during our lives. Each moment has led us closer to Him and our desire for Him. Without gratitude for our past, we will be stuck, unable to move toward the great things He has in store for us. Once we get to a place of thanksgiving, we will be able to live enthusiastically in the present and look forward to what is to come in this life and the next.

 

“Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward and learning to enjoy whatever life has and this requires transforming greed into gratitude.” - St. John Chrysostom

The thief of joy is comparison. When we look and see what others have, we become dismayed and unable to be grateful for the gifts God has given to us. We must be content with the gifts that God has given us for our journey in order to be happy. How often do we look on Facebook or Instagram to see what others have and grow discontent with our lives? How often do we see someone else’s blessings and become jealous because we don’t have what they have? Write down 3 things you struggle with (money, marriage problems, etc) and thank God for using them to come to know Him better.

“The best way to show my gratitude to God is to accept everything, even my problems, with joy.” - St. Theresa of Calcutta

Catholics are joyful people. We even have a book on it (See Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis). Joy is deeper than happiness because it is rooted in Christ. Everything we go through in this life is an opportunity to grow in holiness. We must be joyful about everything God has given us. God has given us a great opportunity, to be a saint. Each person on this earth has a different journey to become a saint. This is why we must thank God for everything and we do this by accepting the good, the bad, and the ugly with great joy.

“To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything.” - Thomas Merton

God is everywhere on earth. He is in every person, every creature, and nature! Each thing he has created is a reflection of Him. Men and women are made special, we are made in the image and likeness of God. When we are people of gratitude, we are able to recognize the love of God in everything. God didn’t make some people good and some people bad. He made us all in His image and likeness. There might be people in your life you don’t particularly get along with or that you disagree with. Find one reason why you are grateful for them and how you see God in them.

“Jesus does not demand great action from us but simply surrender and gratitude.” - St. Therèse of Lisieux

St. Therèse, one of the Doctors of the Church, taught the little way as a path to holiness. Christ asks us to daily surrender ourselves to him and to be thankful for the blessings and burdens in our lives. It is only through these two things that we can begin to live the little way of holiness. Surrender and gratitude are necessary because we cannot be committed to a life of holiness if we first do not acknowledge our Creator and all the wondrous things He has done for each one of us.

 

“It is truly right and just, our duty and salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Father most holy, through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, your Word through whom you made all things, whom you sent as our Savior and Redeemer, incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin. Fulfilling your will and gaining for you a holy people, he stretched out his hands as he endured his Passion, so as to break the bonds of death and manifest the resurrection.” - Preface to Eucharistic Prayer II

The Church prays what She believes. The Eucharist is our most important prayer because “the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life” (CCC 1324). Everything flows to and from the Eucharist. It comes from the Greek word eukharistia means thanksgiving. In the Eucharistic Prayer, we state that it is right and our duty and central to salvation to give thanks to the Lord always. The Eucharist is us remembering and being present again to Jesus’ salvific work on Calvary. We praise and thank Him for saving us from sin and death and for the gift of eternal life that He has given to us. Next time you are at Mass, meditate on Calvary and the words of the Eucharistic prayer. Ask yourself, how often do I truly thank God for sending his only begotten Son to die for me in order to save me from sin and death?

 “So great a love on the part of Mary deserves our gratitude, and that gratitude should be shown by at least meditating upon and pitying her in her sorrow.” - St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

It was only through our Blessed Mother that we were able to gain salvation. She is the Mother of the Redeemer and had to give up her motherly role as a protector to allow her son to suffer and die in the most humiliating and brutal way. Why did she choose to suffer for us? So that all of mankind can be free from sin and death that was brought about by the disobedience of Adam and Eve. It was only through her obedience to God’s plan, that the path of salvation to mankind was open to all. By asking the intercession of Mary and meditating upon her sorrows, we are able to truly understand the pain of helplessly watching the passion and death of her Son, Jesus Christ. We must understand what she did before we can truly express gratitude for all that she has done for us and continues to do through her role as our Spiritual Mother. Take 5 minutes today and mediate on one of Mary’s Seven Sorrows.

 

What is your favorite Thanksgiving quote? Share in the comments!