Catholic Thanksgiving

W. P. Bennett

12 Inspiring Thanksgiving Quotes for Catholics to Share

The calendar has turned over to November and with all the Halloween candy on clearance sale at the stores, it is time that our minds turn towards Thanksgiving.  But rather than look at this holiday as an American holiday designed to celebrate our nation's beginning, can we use this time to grow in our faith? Can we incorporate some spirituality into this holiday of turkeys and football? We certainly can! Giving thanks is a command of God and many saints have spoken about the importance of giving thanks. Here are 12 quotes and images, some from scripture and others from saints about giving thanks you can share with your family and friends!

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1) The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness. — St. Gianna Molla

Living moment by moment can be difficult. But if we live moment by moment we can begin to see how each moment, how each interaction, how each person in our lives is a gift from God and a gift worth giving thanks for. If we spend some time each day going over our day and thanking God for the gifts of that day we will find that it will become easier to identify the blessings from God when they occur.

2) Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name… — Psalm 100:4

We are given a command with how we are to come into the house of the Lord- with praise and thanksgiving.  Do we come into God’s house this way? Do we consciously give thanks as we come into the house of God for Mass? Give thanks not only for what has happened but that we are even able to be there?

3) Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. — Philippians 4:6

Do we pray by giving thanks? Or do we just ask God for things? Along with prayers of petition we are called to give thanks to God in our prayer. Again, take some time each day to think of what we need to give thanks to God for and make sure to take the time to actually give thanks for those things.

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4) O my God, let me remember with gratitude and confess to thee thy mercies toward me. — St. Augustine

One of the things we should give thanks for is God’s mercy. We are all in need of that mercy and if we need to begin someplace with thinking of things to give thanks for, follow St. Augustine’s instruction and give thanks for the times God has been merciful towards us.

5) Remember the past with gratitude. Live the present with enthusiasm. Look forward to the future with confidence. — St. Pope John Paul II

Do we want a future that we can be confident in? St. Pope John Paul II gives us the formula to do so. Begin with thinking back on the past in gratitude. If we can do that we can then begin to see God’s blessings in the present and see that he will continue to bless us and we will not only have gratitude but confidence in the future.

6) Thank God ahead of time. —Blessed Solanus Casey

We may look ahead to the future with confidence, but do we have enough confidence to thank God ahead of time for the blessings he will give us? If we can get to the point that we are giving God thanks ahead of time we begin to get to the point where we have abandoned ourselves to God’s providence.

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7) Learn, too, to be grateful…  — Colossians 3:16-17

Gratitude, or giving thanks, is something that we have to learn how to do. Something we have to practice in order to get better at it. So why not start learning now, with simple things so that we can grow in it so that we can begin to inspire others to grow in gratitude.

8) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. — Psalm 107:1

Why give thanks to the Lord. Sure, because he gives us blessings and life but first of all because he is God. He is the most deserving of our thanks. This is not to say that we cannot give thanks to others for things, but God deserves thanks first and foremost in our lives.

9) To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything he has given us, and he has given us everything. — Thomas Merton

As we learn to give thanks we also teach ourselves the recognize God’s presence and love in our lives and how he continues to take care of those he loves. If we are worthy to be loved we are also worthy to be called to love as God loves- by allowing our thanks to grow into charity towards others.

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10) I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.  — G.K. Chesterton

Thanks are the highest form of thought because they naturally lead our mind out of selfishness. For, if we give thanks to somebody that is not ourselves, we begin to see that we are not alone, that we are in need of others, that we are naturally made for communion with others; that there is something, namely God, worthy of giving thanks towards.

11) Burn leavened bread as a thanksgiving sacrifice….  — Amos 4:5

Making a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Have you ever actually thought about this? That sometimes, especially when we don’t want to give thanks, that giving thanks is actually a sacrifice that we make for somebody else’s sake? Or for God’s sake? That we offer our thanks as an offering to the Lord? Not just on the holiday, but every day?

12) This is my body… — All Four Gospels and the Eucharistic Prayer

What is the ultimate sacrifice of thanksgiving that we can offer to God? The bread and wine that we provide that has been blessed and broken and has become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. If ever we feel as though there is nothing to give thanks for, remember that we always need to give thanks for the greatest gift in the world, the gift of Jesus’ body and blood given for us. It is not a coincidence that the word Eucharist means precisely Thanksgiving.