Autumn Thoughts and Thanksgiving Prayers

November 16, 2013 - 12:55 pm Comments Off on Autumn Thoughts and Thanksgiving Prayers

 

 

INTERFAITH THANKSGIVING PRAYER

We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.

We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.

We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.

We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given to us their light when the sun was gone. We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.

Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in Whom is embodied all goodness, and Who directs all things for the good of Her children.

 

Iroquois Prayer, adapted

(Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace)

Prayer for Autumn Days

God of the seasons, there is a time for everything; there is a time for dying and a time for rising. We need courage to enter into the transformation process.

God of autumn, the trees are saying good bye to their green, letting go of what has been. We, too, have our moments of surrender, with all their insecurity and risk. Help us to let go when we need to do so.

God of fallen leaves lying in colored patterns on the ground, our lives have their own patterns. As we see the patterns of our own growth, may we learn from them.

God of misty days and harvest moon nights, there is always the dimension of mystery and wonder in our lives. We always need to recognize your power-filled presence. May we gain strength from this.

God of harvest wagons and fields of ripened grain, many gifts of growth lie within the season of our surrender. We must wait for harvest in faith and hope. Grant us patience when we do not see the blessings.

God of geese going south for another season, your wisdom enables us to know what needs to be left behind and what needs to be carried into the future. We yearn for insight and vision. God of flowers touched with frost and windows wearing white designs, may your love keep our hearts from growing cold in the empty seasons.

God of life, you believe in us, you enrich us, you entrust us with the freedom to choose life. For all this, we are grateful.

Author Unknown                                               Appropriate for many faiths

I am Thankful for the Renewal of Hope in Our Country

Hope is the thing with feathers  
That perches in the soul, 
And sings the tune without the words,  
And never stops at all... 

I've heard it in the chillest land,  
And on the strangest sea;         
Yet, never, in extremity,  
It asked a crumb of me.

If we were to accept the dire reports of national economic difficulties uncritically, there would be little reason for hope during this Holiday season. While strong and often convincing in its details, all those mounting reports can lead to the feelings of powerlessness and increase our sense of despair. I feel that Hope is our best remedy.

As the Western Scriptures remind us, ” Hope is the anchor of our faith.” Within that assurance, it is important to avoid either the Pollyanna response that everything will be all right, or worse, that everything will return to the way it was. I see it as our spiritual imperative not to give in to despair, discouragement, or the difficulties we all face, that we all share…

In the words of another one of our poets, Edna St. Vincent Millay, we are experiencing an “anxious autumn”, and quite possibly a cold, harsh winter… But Spring with its promise, is natural harbinger of hope, just as our places of worship can serve as our invaluable sources of support, caring, and shared sense of hope among us.

Hope is a courageous emotion; It is defiant and persevering, for it seeks to find and affirm whatever is good and noble in our struggles. We rely on hope as a path to wisdom, and it is through sharing our hopes and affirming what we are truly grateful for in our lives that makes holiday worship so meaningful for so many of us.

Even if we are struggling, as a nation, through an “anxious Autumn”, let us reflect on the words of our contemporary author, Barbara Kingsolver, who reflects on the nature of hope in these words:

“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most [courageous thing] you can do is to live inside that hope.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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