A crowd-sourced Thanksgiving prayer

by Kate Childs Graham

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Holidays are hard.

You won't find a lot of Hallmark cards that say that, or even a Someecard. You probably won't find a lot of people willing to admit it. But still, for many, it's true. Holidays are hard.

Holidays are hard for those who are afraid to go home to a family that does not accept them for who they are or who they love. Holidays are hard for those who have lost loved ones. Holidays are hard for those who have to work retail all day to turn a profit for a corporation that doesn't pay them nearly enough. Holidays are hard for those who don't have a job -- or a home.

As some have spent November ticking off the things they are most grateful for on Facebook, others have spent the month dreading the turkey, the stuffing and the yuletide merriment to follow.

It was with these folks in mind that I asked young Catholics on Facebook, Twitter and email to offer lines for a crowd-sourced Thanksgiving prayer. A prayer that -- I hope -- can bring comfort to those who need it and joyful gratitude to all who read it. Feel free to add a line or two of your own in the comments section. And I pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving, even if it's hard.

Gracious God,
We give thanks for you, who loves us unconditionally, compassionately and passionately.
We give thanks for families, diverse in shape, size and origin,
And for the beauty of how they have come to be.
We give thanks for communities that nourish, challenge and support our journeys.
We give thanks for conversations and their power for greater understanding.
We give thanks for moments of grace and reconciliation.

Today, may we eat food that nourishes, and
May we remember that we can be bread for each other.
May we always know that -- no matter where life has led us -- you make a home in our heart
And that, through your love, we are all made family.


[Kate Childs Graham is an activist in the progressive Catholic movement. A graduate of The Catholic University of America and the U.N.-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica, she is a communications professional in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter: @kchildsgraham.]

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