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The sun is lower in the sky. There is briskness in the air. The deep green of summer is giving way to hints of yellow, orange, red and brown.
Fallen leaves are peppering the sidewalks and lawns of our community. Birds are on the wing, heading south. Flower beds are being turned over for the coming winter. Lawn mowers will soon be back in storage. Sweat shirts are around the waist and over the shoulders at dawn and dusk. Once again God is gracing us with the beautiful season of autumn.
It seems to me that people walk outdoors more in the fall, but often a little slower. The rich combination of colorful trees against the backdrop of deep blue sky and marshmallow clouds commands our attention and gives us pause.
Sometimes the wonder even takes our breath away, as we stop dead in our tracks.
What is God saying to us with all this beautiful change? Surely some message of dying and rising, of the past left behind for the promise of what lies ahead is tailor-made for each one of us.
Surely reflection on how autumn echoes in our own lives will bring the peace that only God can give.
The letter to the Philippians (4:6-9) suggests that we have no anxiety,“…but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
The signature celebration during this season of autumn is Thanksgiving Day—statistically the most traveled weekend of the year.
Families gather to celebrate and give thanks to God for one another and for the countless blessings of the past year. How great is the example set by the first pilgrims as they gathered with newfound friends to thank God for their blessings!
I suggest that the entire fall season be a conscious daily reflection on the blessings we experience.
When someone, some thing, some event “makes our day”, it is a singular moment to say thanks to God—with a smile or a prayer or a gesture of joy. It can be a deliberate way we decide to let God know how appreciative we are, and it will surely bring a smile to the face of our God.
It will also fashion us into a people who live with a conscious attitude of gratitude.
Truly it will make our celebration of Thanksgiving Day with those we love a mountaintop experience following a season of daily journeying with a thankful heart.
Sr. Paula Gohs, is a pastoral associate at St. John’s the Evangelist Catholic Church in Carrollton