Can we be thankful– in spite of and maybe because of today’s troubles—for being alive in this challenging time in history? 

“Friends at Sunset.” Photo by Marc Clinton Labiano on Unsplash

When Mother Earth is suffering badly, her creatures facing extinction by the millions, our species also facing extinction, our species most responsible for the upcoming extinctions; when the heated rhetoric of politicians denying that January 6 happened as we all saw it happen, the lies upon lies about a “stolen election,” the clashes between democracy and authoritarianism and the intraparty clashes within democracies, can we still remain grateful to be alive at this time? 

If we can give thanks in these circumstances, that shows an inner strength for which we can also give thanks.

Can we give thanks today in spite of these realities just because we do exist and the sun shines and the rain falls (in some places) and things grow on Mother Earth and Earth glows as the special planet that it is?

Let us be thankful for existence itself.  And the beauty around and within us.

“New Life.” Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

If we are surrounded by goodness and praise it where we find it, then we are urged to give thanks for life, for existence, for the goodness tasted therein.

When Dorothy Day, an atheist and communist at the time, became pregnant she was so overcome by the beauty of bearing a new living being inside her that she converted to Christianity. Why? “Because I had to give thanks to someone,” she said.

God is the One to whom we give our Thanks.

Thomas Aquinas considers gratitude to be a virtue that constitutes the very essence of healthy religion: “Religion is supreme thankfulness or gratitude.”   To be religious is to be thankful. One is never half-full of thanks—one is thank-full or otherwise empty of thanks.

A Blessed Day of Thanksgiving to all!  May we be inspired to praise and thank, to remember and create.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God…Including the Unnameable God, p. 4;

Also see  Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times, pp. 41-44.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: “Harvest.” Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina Food Photographer/Stylist from Pexels

Queries for Contemplation

Spend time with Thanks; let it rise up within you.  What are you grateful for?  Make a list and let it speak back to you.

Recommended Reading

Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God …Including the Unnameable God

Too often, notions of God have been used as a means to control and to promote a narrow worldview. In Naming the Unnameable, renowned theologian and author Matthew Fox ignites our imaginations by offering a colorful range of Divine Names gathered from scientists and poets and mystics past and present, inviting us to always begin where true spirituality begins: from experience.
“This book is timely, important and admirably brief; it is also open ended—there are always more names to come, and none can exhaust God’s nature.” -Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, author of Science Set Free and The Presence of the Past

The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times

A stunning spiritual handbook drawn from the substantive teachings of Aquinas’ mystical/prophetic genius, offering a sublime roadmap for spirituality and action.
Foreword by Ilia Delio.
“What a wonderful book!  Only Matt Fox could bring to life the wisdom and brilliance of Aquinas with so much creativity. The Tao of Thomas Aquinas is a masterpiece.”
–Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

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11 thoughts on “Thanksgiving, 2021”

  1. Avatar

    I am thankful for these daily meditations from Rev Fox. They sustain me with their wisdom. I am thankful to be living in the same time as he.

  2. Avatar

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.
    “I rejoice and celebrate the happiness of this season which is life’s rich gift. Bountiful Mother and Father, I ask a blessing upon all who gather in the harvest at this season. May each farm, orchard, and garden be blessed with abundance, and may each be tended with respectful love. As the days shorten and the nights lengthen, may all who withdraw into the hermitage of the heart find spiritual refreshment and divine peace.”– Caitlin Matthews, a Celt

  3. Avatar

    Matthew & Richard,
    Thought you might appreciate this website ( by the United American Indians of New England reminding us that this day is also a National Day of Mourning.
    Blessings and enjoyed today’s spiritual Daily Meditation,

  4. Avatar

    I love Anne Lamott and her three great prayers: Help Thanks Wow. I follow and get a word each day and a poem each month and am always reminded to be grateful every day for what I have, no matter what.

  5. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    “If the only prayer you pray in your entire life is, ‘Thank you,’ that is enough!”
    Meister Eckhart

  6. Avatar
    Uma Laurie Bowman

    Beautiful post! And yes, I agree, despite everything the sun is shining, beauty and goodness still go on every day in a multitude of ways… Thank you to Matthew Fox for voicing it, and helping me see it!

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