The following comes from an email a friend sent yesterday. It resonated with me, and I hope it does the same for you on this day of rest and recovery.
Thanksgiving Gratitude Examen
For whom and what am I grateful today? Why am I grateful for these people, situations, and things? How do they reflect God’s presence in my life?
For whom and what have I often forgotten to be grateful? Are there any gifts that I take for granted?
How can I commit to honor these gifts each day, not solely on Thanksgiving? Would I like to keep a gratitude journal? Would I like to write letters of thanks to those who support me? Would l like to share my abundant blessings with others-through acts of service or donation of goods? Would I like to pray each day in gratitude for these blessings?
I pray that I can acknowledge the reflections of God’s love that are present in my life today and every day.
Close with this poem by Edward Hays, which inspires us to find fulfillment in the present moment.
O sacred season of Autumn, be my teacher,
for I wish to learn the virtue of contentment.
As I gaze upon your full-colored beauty,
I sense all about you
an at-homeness with your amber riches.
You are the season of retirement,
of full barns and harvested fields.
The cycle of growth has ceased,
and the busy work of giving life
is now completed.
I sense in you no regrets:
you’ve lived a full life.
I live in a society that is ever-restless,
always eager for more mountains to climb,
seeking happiness through more and more possessions.
As a child of my culture,
I am seldom truly at peace with what I have.
Teach me to take stock of what I have given and received,
may I know that it’s enough,
that my striving can cease
in the abundance of God’s grace.
May I know the contentment
that allows the totality of my energies
to come to full flower.
May I know that like you I am rich beyond measure.
As you, O Autumn, take pleasure in your great bounty,
let me also take delight
in the abundance of the simple things in life
which are the true source of joy.
With the golden glow of peaceful contentment
may I truly appreciate this autumn day.
For what are you grateful?
How will you live that out every day?