A season for gratitude, a time for blessing

Happy Thanksgiving from NCR editors, staff and contributors

To celebrate our national time of Thanksgiving, NCR presents these essays:

Gratitude and the Web of Being
Tom Fox interviews Benedictine Br. David Steindl-Rast
"Gratitude is a real practice, as valid as yoga or Zen meditation or Sufi dancing -- if you take it seriously," Br. Steindl-Rast tells Tom Fox. Gratitude, he said, "starts with surprise. We deprive ourselves so much by not allowing ourselves to be surprised." Listen here.

Time spent on a farm impresses one that harvest is truly a gift
By Rich Heffern
A cultural meme we have been stuck on for some time is the “I deserve it” one, a sense of entitlement that has replaced contentment as a goal in life. “I deserve it” is a fairy tale that we perhaps need to outgrow. It’s the antithesis of gratefulness, a complex emotion. Read the essay.

A glimpse of oneness for a change
By Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister
The looks on their faces as they went round and round me were something I had never seen before in my religious life. It was, a Christian mystic might have said in earlier centuries, “a foretaste of heaven.” It was, at very least, a glimpse into what real religion could be -- should be. It was a moment of real contemplative oneness. Read the essay.

In thanksgiving for Ted Kennedy's legacy of faith-filled service
By Douglas W. Kmiec
In politics, no one is free of controversy and Ted Kennedy has had his share. Yet, it cannot be gainsaid that he has lived JFK's inaugural observation that "here on earth, God's work must truly be our own." Read the essay

Strangers welcomed at Camden Thanksgiving
By Christine Graf
Camden, N.J. -- Thanksgiving at Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Camden, N.J., means more than celebrating a holiday with family. The organization recalled the tradition of "welcoming the strangers," on which the American holiday is based, by inviting recent refugees and immigrants from trouble-filled regions around the world who have arrived in the last year to come and share a meal with the community. Read the essay

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here