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St. John Paul II’s simple way to approach Thanksgiving


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Philip Kosloski - published on 11/15/21

Thanksgiving offers us a unique opportunity each year to look at the past in gratitude as well as to look forward in hopeful expectation.

Thanksgiving is one of the most religious secular holidays that exists on the calendar, as it allows time for everyone to reflect in gratitude on their lives.

In his apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, St. John Paul II offers a profound point of meditation that fits perfectly into the theme of Thanksgiving.

Duc in altum!  [“Put out into the deep!”] These words ring out for us today, and they invite us to remember the past with gratitude, to live the present with enthusiasm and to look forward to the future with confidence: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever” (Heb 13:8).

This threefold approach to time provides the perfect framework for our Thanksgiving reflections. It is a truly Christian approach to the flow of time, not living in the past, or having an unhealthy fascination with the future.

As Christians, we are grateful for the many blessings God has given us in the past. These blessings provide for us the impetus to live in the present moment with vigor. As we live in the present moment, we are able to look forward with hope to the future and the ultimate fulfillment of our desires in Heaven.

When celebrating Thanksgiving, remember this simple line from St. John Paul II and let it inform your daily life.

Pope John Paul IIThanksgiving
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