United in gratitude

In a nation still divided after a contentious presidential election, the uniquely American celebration of Thanksgiving Day is especially timely and welcome in 2016.

We all eat, so on Nov. 24 Democrats, Republicans, Independents and all others can and should join in common gratitude for the work of our nation’s farmers and the blessings of this year’s bountiful harvest. Perhaps the Thanksgiving table in our homes this year, however, should be declared a politics-free zone.

As Catholics, we know the Source of every blessing and that those blessings are too numerous to count — beginning with the Eucharist. The very name means “thanksgiving.”  But Thanksgiving Day is a day we should pause and names as many of our blessings as we can. Our families. Our health. Our homes. Our freedoms, including of religion. The spectacular run of fall weather we’ve been enjoying. Our very lives.

And yes, we give thanks for our diversity — another gift from God. We’re different. We disagree on problems and solutions and candidates and policies. Hopefully we will learn to do so peacefully, respectfully, and always seeking the common good. But by all means this Thursday, let’s be united . . . in gratitude.  — Thomas J. Dermody

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