My Thanksgiving Theme for 2011: GRATITUDE

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Backstory: Since 1996 my wife and I have been honored to host Thanksgiving Dinner at our home for friends and family with 30 to 60+ guests not uncommon. We assumed this family tradition after the passing of my father in 1996. My late father was an English major at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY and an attorney / judge by profession. He took his task of preparing the Thanksgiving prayer as seriously as preparing for a Supreme Court case. I’ve done my best to honor his legacy by keeping up that tradition. Here is my Thanksgiving prayer for 2011… 


One of my favorite stories from my misguided youth is that of the young boy on a cold Buffalo Winter afternoon…

This boy that was so poor that he had to walk home from school with big, giant holes in his boots.

He was cold and feeling depressed about his condition. “Why me? Why must life be so hard for me?

I don’t even have boots that will keep me dry!” he cried out. Then he came across a little boy sitting in the alley, who had no FEET!

He walked the rest of the way home with joy in his heart and never complained another day in his life.


It took me many years to truly appreciate the lessons from this story. Above all the last year has taught me to be grateful no matter how many holes I have in my boots.

My prayer for 2011 is one of simple thanksgiving. As the great Christian mystic Meister Eckhart once said, “If the only prayer you ever say is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

Let us bow our heads:

My heart is filled with thankfulness for the continuous flow of God’s good.

And while I earnestly give thanks for specific things, occurrences and people,

I also maintain a grateful state of mind regardless of outer circumstances.


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