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By Deacon Tom, Council Spiritual Advisor

Something about this time of year feels different to me. Most of the fall leaves are gone. Some people are already talking about Santa Claus coming to town and my neighbor even put lights up this weekend. But it’s far too early for me to start thinking about that. It’s certainly getting cooler, especially in the morning, and I’ve definitely noticed an increase in sniffles and nose blowing as many of us have had or are in the midst of battling colds and sinus challenges. Of course, the battle with COVID-19 rages on as well. That’s it! This is the time of year for infectious diseases!

So how do most of us catch these bugs? Sure, some of us catch colds by not wearing coats when we should or by going out in the cold with wet hair but most of us catch infections from one of our friends or family members. Simply by being with them, they pass on germs that result in illness. But contagious virus germs need not be the only thing that we share with our family, friends and fellow Vincentians.

Every time we gather together, we have an opportunity to share thanks for our blessings and to share enthusiasm for our faith. Our meetings and our home visits are opportunities to share Holy Spirit moments and the love of God. Our smiles and Christian charity should be more obvious to those around us than even a runny nose.

As we near the fourth Thursday in November, we have a special opportunity to share a germ called thankfulness. And while every one of us deals with some form of frustration or disappointment, each and every one of us also has even more to be thankful for. In order to prepare for Thanksgiving, I’d like each of us to spend at least the next 24 hours praying the doorway prayer. If you’re not familiar with the doorway prayer, it works like this: EVERY time you pass through a doorway, thank God for something—a special friend, reliable transportation, your dog, the bed you sleep in, peanut butter… you get the idea. If you will do this, you’ll be surprised by two things:

  • How many doors you pass through in one day
  • How much you have to be thankful for

As your appreciation for all your blessings grows so will the germs of thanksgiving that you can share with those you contact. My prayer this week is that all of our thanksgiving tables will be full of the infectious germs of thankfulness and that it will be quite contagious.

May God continue to bless you.