With Thanksgiving upon us, it is a perfect time to count our blessings. When we see so much that our world needs to change, it can be difficult sometimes to appreciate the things that are going well. However easy it may be to count our problems, counting our blessings can help us to stay motivated to help those who are struggling.
Life of Gratitude
It is often so easy in conversation to slip into complaining. Often times when I’m in a conversation, I don’t even notice it happening until I’m already in knee-deep. We wind up discussing what’s wrong with the government or how busy we are or how much we just wished the week would end.
Even more than in conversation, social media can be a negativity trap. Facebook and Twitter feeds become cycles of complaining, and it can be hard to see the positive in a given situation. Defy that. Complaining is almost never constructive. Instead, it prevents us from finding constructive ways to deal with challenges. You’re better than that.
In Ephesians, St. Paul issues a challenge to Christians today, saying: “No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)
That is how we are called to live: in a way that imparts grace to those who hear. We are called to live a life of constant gratitude. The fact that we are called children of God is reason for constant rejoicing. It is so much more significant than our problems. No matter what is happening in our lives or around us, we are called to be people of constant, life-bringing joy.
Joy in the Pro-Life Movement
Thanksgiving is a good reminder for those of us in the pro-life movement to be people of joy. Joy draws people in and challenges them to seek the Truth. As you seek to defend life, check your motives. As Christians, we should be motivated by the joy of the Gospel, not by fear of opposition. Let your love of life and your gratitude for all that you have motivate you to seek that for others. If we are the kind of people that are able to see the good in life, we draw people in.
Thanksgiving: Spilling Over to Others
The more we live a life of gratitude, the more that begins to call us to serve others. Joy and gratitude don’t sit idle. They demand to be shared.
As pro-life people, we are called to share this joy in a special way with those who are most vulnerable. Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to share all that we have. Find a way this Thanksgiving to support those around you who may be struggling this time of year. The official Year of Mercy is over, but we are still called to be God’s mercy to the vulnerable around us. Moving into this holiday season, take the time to figure out concrete ways to serve. Consider dedicating some time in silence amid the noise to pray a rosary for the unborn. Our gratitude for life, after all, should move us to fight for those whose lives are at risk. You could also volunteer for a homeless shelter or donate a gift to a child in need.
Whatever you do, do it out of gratitude for all you have received. When we act because of gratitude, our joy will never fail to draw people in.