Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Few Things For Which I Am Thankful

Right about now each year, the nuns I had in grammar school would be telling us to take out a piece of construction paper and draw something to express our gratitude to God.  Having no artistic capabilities, these types of projects were always pure torture for me.  But, expressing gratitude in words is never a painful undertaking for me.  I love that I have so much for which to be grateful.  I'm sure that I will forget some things, but here is at least an attempt.  Some of these things are obvious and plain.  Some will be inscrutable.
The BU Catholic Center Men's Hike

This year, (in no particular order), I am thankful:

For the Word of God
For priests who give time to hearing confessions
For the sheep
For the gift of an iPad and for the inscription
For a family who has suffered a lot, but perseveres and loves
For an email about Charlie's theological questions
For people who write cards
For my family
That my family members all talk to each other frequently and all get along
That the Barnes' will all be on one continent soon
That my parents sent me to Catholic School
For the people who support the Catholic Center at Boston University
For the privilege of being able to assure those who suffer of the nearness of Christ
For old friends
For new friends
For those who accompany me on the Christian path

For Monday night adoration
For the Men's Hike
For Andre the Giant Reading at Mass
For Scones
For the privilege of living priesthood in the midst of the people
For young people who are witnesses to Christ
For the young people that I see every day
For the coffee room
For the flock entrusted to my care
For the friendship we live together as the Church
For the words, "Father, do you have a minute?"
For being entrusted with the interior life of people
For Prayer
For the privilege of accompanying others along the Christian path

For liking the stars at Camp Fatima
For Interns, husbands of interns, Focus Missionaries, and Agnes
For being on mission together
For parents who raise good children
For seeing God work through others

For having time to hear confessions each day
For seminarians
For vocations
For the privilege of accompanying men along the path to ordination
For a newly ordained priest
For hearing good reports about good priests

For those who visit me at the Catholic Center
For people who treat me really well
For Game One of the World Series
For the Second Row at Fenway 
That St. Paul wrote twice to St. Timothy
That the Lord stood by me
For my joy and my crown
For THE BEST party I've ever been to and for family and friends who were there
For the party and toast at St. Margaret's
For dinners
That He calls us friends
That I was pastor of the best parish in the Archdiocese of Boston
That I learned how to be a shepherd
For the Anglican Ordinariate
For Mariage and for Families
For Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, and Easter Dinners

For brother priests and for priests who are brothers
For a priest who--although a Yankees Fan--helped me
For Blessed John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis
For JP2's zealous preaching, his fortitude, and his being a pastor
For Benedict's joy, writings, humility, and liturgical style
For Francis' directness, authenticity, and the way he keeps the system (and me) on our toes
For Evangelii Gaudium
For the Encounter with Christ
For the Year of Faith
For my share in the Cross
For the joy of preaching the Gospel
For the New Evangelization
For being part of the New Evangelization before it was fashionable or safe
For lay people who witness to Christ in the world

For a good home
For the back porch and the company
For Facebook, Twitter, and texting
Sometimes for email
For Hoppy Beer and Coffee
For Finbar
For getting to spend almost all of my time with regular people

For the privilege to offer Mass and to absolve sins
For vocations to the priesthood
For Celibacy and for fatherhood
For the witness of persecuted Christians and for martyrs
For Mercy
For the Forgiveness of Sins
For people who bring joy into a room
For the example of people who know how to pray

For the house of Peter and for the house of Caiaphas
For the Pools at Bethsaida
For God's Providence
For CCC 312
For the Summa
For Saints
For Augustine, Gregory, and Chrysostom
For Grace
For Vianney, Borromeo, and Newman
For Fr. Ragheed Ganni
For the Memorare
That the New Evangelization works if we let it
For being a man who has great friends
For many other things
For Christ

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