“Thank God ahead of time.” Fr. Solanus Casey

It’s not always easy to give thanks, especially when we are surrounded by so much brokenness. But gratitude isn’t dependent on our circumstances. Solanus Casey (a Detroit monk who is under consideration for sainthood) reminds us we don’t even have to wait until God resolves our situation or brings peace to the world. We can thank God ahead of time.

I wrote this reflection as a way to focus myself during the holidays and also to practice gratitude even in the midst of the brokenness of the world.

Giving Thanks in a Broken World

We give thanks today
Not because everything is right
Or good or just or perfect
We know the world is broken

We give thanks today
Not because we ignore
Pain or injustice or heartache
We see it and feel it deeply

We give thanks today
Not because we endorse
Everything about thanksgiving
Or history or culture
We hold tensions and critiques

We give thanks today
Not because God has blessed us over others
But because we recognize that our blessings
are undeserved

We give thanks today
Because we got up this morning and
life is a precious gift that we should
never take for granted

We give thanks today
Because gratitude is the anti-dote to entitlement
And the impetus to generosity

We give thanks today
Because we believe that God deserves
Our gratitude even when life is overwhelming

We give thanks today
Because we remember what we’ve been through
And how God has delivered us
Which gives us grace for others
And hope in whatever we are going through now

We give thanks today
Because we have people in our lives who
See our brokenness and choose to love us anyway
Hallelujah!

We give thanks today
Because brokenness is not all there is in the world.
There is love, goodness, hope, peace, and kindness too.
And love is greater than hate
Hope is stronger than fear
Peace is more enduring than violence.
And that is something to truly be thankful for.