On Monday evening, the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity celebrated Thanksgiving as a community. Seminarians, lay-students, faculty, staff and family members of these gathered in Saint Mary's Chapel for Evening Prayer. This was followed by dinner at the Binz Refectory, a meal of cranberry relish, fresh fruit, asparagus spears, alla caprese tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, mashed potatoes, stuffing and, of course, turkey--all alongside camaraderie and conversation at the tables with friends and new acquaintances.
One of the priests on faculty presided over Vespers and gave a rousing homily on the Eucharistic theology of Saint Paul (from Colossians 3:12-17; the Greek "eucharistein" meaning "to give thanks") and then encouraged us to expand one aspect of what we do in the Eucharist (give thanks to God) to the rest of our lives. Along these lines, he mentioned the third section of Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis (Sacrament of Charity), the section entitled "The Eucharist: A Mystery to be Lived."
That was Monday, and now it is Wednesday. The house is nearly vacant, the Binz is no longer serving food, liturgies as a community have ceased, the doors are locked and we are all dispersed back to our dioceses, back to our homes (for those of us able to get home) to celebrate this national holiday, giving it its fuller meaning that we as Catholics can bestow it.
In this spirit, I give thanks to God for all the many blessings he has bestowed upon me, my loved ones, and the Church. I give thanks to you, our readers, for any and all support you give to us seminarians and to the Saint Paul Seminary--your prayers are always very much needed. May your Thanksgiving be one filled with God's graces.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:12-17) Gregory