Thanks be to God

(posted: October 1, 2017)


Thanks be to God for roses rare,
For skies of blue and sunshine fair,
For every gift I raise a prayer,
Thanks be to God.
Thanks be to God for love divine,
The hopes that round my heart entwine.
For all the joy that now is mine
Thanks be to God.
For all the joy that now is mine
Thanks be to God!

I remember learning that hymn, an assignment from my vocal teacher, many years ago.  I remember it also because it was sung at our wedding.  Whenever I hear the phrase ‘Thanks be to God’ the melody and words start running through my mind, challenging me to sing aloud.   I wonder if other people are afflicted with that kind of memory/song association?

October means fall and Thanksgiving Day celebrations.   Thanks giving Day is a holiday in October for us and in November for the Americans.  In both countries people enjoying a long weekend complete with a big, family dinner.  Fall decorations are hung.  We give thanks for the bountiful harvest and reflect upon our blessings.

Thanksgiving is a holiday, but surely every day is a day for giving thanks?

St Vincent de Paul told his followers, “We should spend as much time thanking God for his benefits as we do asking for them.”   Perhaps I need to reflect on my personal prayer life.  Do I spend as much time saying thank you as I spend asking for things?  Or am I the child who begs for one thing after another, saving thanks for special occasions, like Thanksgiving Day? Can I begin and end each and every day with thanks?  And is it also possible to fill in the day with a variety of thank yous?  How about ten thank yous a day, for a start?  And no listing the names of ten family members!

As someone who writes messages, blogs, reflections, etc. for the ONRC, I was moved by something Blessed Frederic wrote to God when he knew he was close to death.  I know I could never be as accomplished a writer as he was, so I think I will adopt his written prayer as my own:

When you chain me to my bed for what is left of my life
there will not be enough time to thank you for all the time that I have lived.
If these pages are the last that I am writing
may they be a hymn to your goodness.


Thanks be to God!