Thanksgiving, 2021

It has been a rough year-and-a-half, thanks to COVID-19, lockdowns, riots, inflation, shortages, etc.  It’s not easy watching your nation going down the tubes.  (Especially when we compare how things were not all that long ago.) 

There’s a lot out there not to like.  And it seems incongruous to be thankful for all that we have suffered through.  

Yet we should be thankful.  

First of all, we should be thankful for the Lord’s bounteous blessings.  That sounds counter-intuitive.  I know some of you have lost jobs or have been rendered underemployed.  I know what that feels like.  But that doesn’t mean that we can’t pause to reflect on what we do have.  And we should.

As for the pounding we’ve taken as a nation (and a Church), perhaps we should look at this humiliation in a reflective way.  Perhaps we could repent.  Strike that, we should repent.  God in His mercy sends these chastisements for our edification.  After all, it is St Peter who wrote that “Judgment begins in the house of the Lord” (1Pet 4:17).

That means that God hasn’t given up on us yet.  And for that alone, we should be thankful.  

So, being duly chastened, let’s get up, dust ourselves off, try not to eat too much, and go into the new year ready to do battle.  It will get better. 


  1. A blessed Thanksgiving to all!

    I love listening to this timeless podcast by Fr Tom Hopko of blessed memory every Thanksgiving – hard to believe it’s now been 12 years since he recorded it.

    And of course Fr Alexander Schmemann’s timeless Thanksgiving day sermon, which he gave only a couple of weeks before his repose:

    “Thank You, O Lord!

    Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy.

    Thank You, O Lord, for having accepted this Eucharist, which we offered to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and which filled our hearts with the joy, peace and righteousness of the Holy Spirit.

    Thank You, O Lord, for having revealed Yourself unto us and given us the foretaste of Your Kingdom.

    Thank You, O Lord, for having united us to one another in serving You and Your Holy Church.

    Thank You, O Lord, for having helped us to overcome all difficulties, tensions, passions, temptations and restored peace, mutual love and joy in sharing the communion of the Holy Spirit.

    Thank You, O Lord, for the sufferings You bestowed upon us, for they are purifying us from selfishness and reminding us of the “one thing needed;” Your eternal Kingdom.

    Thank You, O Lord, for having given us this country where we are free to Worship You.

    Thank You, O Lord, for this school, where the name of God is proclaimed.

    Thank You, O Lord, for our families: husbands, wives and, especially, children who teach us how to celebrate Your holy Name in joy, movement and holy noise.

    Thank You, O Lord, for everyone and everything.

    Great are You, O Lord, and marvelous are Your deeds, and no word is sufficient to celebrate Your miracles.

    Lord, it is good to be here! Amen.”

  2. Walmart closes at 11 and is going to all self-checkout lines. I don’t even recognize this country anymore.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      What is this world coming to?!

    • “Walmart closes at 11…”
      Col Kurz: “The horror. The horror. The horror.”

      “…and is going to all self-checkout lines.”
      The fewer people employed, the more people dependent on the state;
      and the easier it is to implement Universal Basic Income and Chinese-style Social Credit.

      • Steven J. M. says

        “The fewer people employed, the more people dependent on the state;
        and the easier it is to implement Universal Basic Income and Chinese-style Social Credit.”

        And the fewer there are on checkouts must eventually mean the fewer there are on UBI; for it’s ultimately not a human problem, but a problem that some have with humans.

        • Indeed. The less people in work,
          the more people on the dole.

          The more on the dole, the more ‘useless eaters’ (to use Bill’s resonant term).
          Then reduce the dole and reduce the ‘useless eaters’…

          This sounds like a plan – but not a Christian plan.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Austin, as a trad/con, I’ve had my problems with Wal-Mart going on 30 years now. Although Sam Moore Walton was a visionary and a pro-American one at that, Wal-Mart quickly evolved into a Main Street-destroying enterprise for decades now. As for its corporate board, it’s as left-wing elitist as any other Fortune 400 megacorp as there is.

      Suffice it to say, when I see Walgreens, CVS, Target, et al pulling out of Blue Cities because of the “smash-and-grab” going on, I say: “Good riddance. You enabled this type of thuggery, now choke on it.”

    • I’m with Brendan on this – what’s so apocalyptic about these changes at Walmart?

    • One of the most beautiful things for me to behold on Christmas day is what used to be seen every Sunday when I was a child: Driving through the shopping district on my way to Liturgy and seeing completely empty parking lots. One day out of 365 (that used to be one day out of seven) that is not devoted to the endless pursuit, or service of, consumerism.

      • Brendan: While I agree, I think it’s more about staffing and overhead.

        George: I agree about Walton. It’s a lesson in how your kids ruin your legacy. (C.f. Elvis, Billy Graham)

        Brian: I think it’s pretty manifest that Christmas is all about the endless pursuit of consumerism.

        But who is the heart of Walmart and Amazon? Who feeds the beast? You are, dear consumer. You (plural) are what enables the modern, cutthroat capitalism. You are what pays the wages of the slaves in China.

  3. “Glory to God for all things”

    True enough words. We should all be thankful.

    Happy thanksgiving to you George and Gail, and to everyone else!

  4. Constantine Walton says

    Christ is King!
    Well said brother. I could say many other things and pull out the soap box, but it’s not needed today. My family is so grateful to God for the bounty he has bestowed upon our undeserving hands.
    Happy Thanksgiving to your family from mine brother!

  5. Antiochene Son says

    The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
    – Job 1:21