Thursday, November 26, 2009


An brief piece in the local paper from last year:

I find it telling that people generally have a long list of requests during the “Prayer For All Men” that is towards the end of the morning prayer service that I lead almost every day. Of course, I find it is also true of my own prayers. It is much easier to think of all the things I need, or think I need, or just plain want, than it is to think of what other people need. Of course, many of the requests at the morning prayer service are for other people, and that encourages me.

We all have needs and we all have family and friends and neighbors with needs. I don’t think there should be fewer requests during the prayer service, but it is telling, nonetheless, that there are usually quite a few more requests than there are thanksgivings expressed. This is true in my prayer life as well. Do we just not know how to be thankful? Is it a lost art to have a thankful heart and attitude? Are we just too cynical a society to really be thankful?

My mother taught me to count my blessings. I try to do that on a regular basis and remind myself of how many things I have to be thankful for. Meditating on the blessings in our lives tends to remind us to be thankful. Perhaps in this difficult economy and the realities it brings to many families in our community, we ought to do some counting of blessings. Perhaps we can start with the blessing of living in a community where people are actually people and not just a number; or how about living in scenery worthy of the attention of the greatest landscape painters. I’m sure there are many, many more for all of us. These things may not pay the bills, but they are worthy of being thankful for.

So as I continue to lead morning prayers, I am reminded of St. Paul’s words: ”Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6, emphasis mine).

Father Brian Foos

1 comment:

freshfirecoal said...

Excellent post here, Father Foos. I find that explaining to people that Advent refers both to the coming of our Lord as a child and to his coming again seems to get their attention--at least, a bit. I also ask people if they have seen the movie "It's A Wonderful Life,"--many have, and I remind them of the scene in that film where the Christmas tree was put up and decorated--it was Christmas Eve. our Hallowed Hallmark Cards and commercialism are the reason for that change--and perhaps the desires of anxious mothers to get the work and worry of the season over--I hesitate to say this but do think it's true.

Advent--may it live again!