Thanksgiving cornucopiaWhat has a recovering alcoholic to be thankful for this year?  The list will, of course, vary from individual to individual.  But to get started, let this recovering alcoholic make his list:

  • Above everything else, I’m thankful for my God, whose presence always in the person of Jesus Christ sustains me with His love.  He guides and informs every move I take, every breath I take.  Even willful misdeeds, sinful acts, selfishness of all kinds would seem to block or remove His love.  Yet in spite of this, He continues to love and support me every step of the way.  I am consoled and confident of this fact as night follows day and this until He brings me home with Him forever.
  • I am thankful for my health at my age, even with pains and discomfort that accompany the aging process.
  • I am thankful for family and friends whose love I cling to and appreciate more and more as time passes.
  • I am thankful for employment at Guest House since 2004 where I’ve had the privilege and honor to serve numerous priests and religious men in their recovery.  And, to be sure, I am also thankful for their continued friendship as they minister in the Church helping countless other souls.
  • I am extremely grateful for my Jesuit Community at the University of Detroit.  Their zeal is evident daily in their various activities which give me life and positive good example.  They support me with life-giving companionship on our common road to accomplish what we can, with God’s grace, to educate and aid others.
  • I am thankful for the State of Michigan, my home state.  The varied seasons of the year bring me comfort and many surprises.
  • I am thankful for living in the inner-city of Detroit with all of its flaws, deterioration, poverty – and yet a palatable hope for a recovery to better times ahead.  It is good to be a part of this scene and these poor people who are striving for better living conditions and better employment.

Dick Hittle, S.J.

The Long View

It helps, now and then,

To step back and take a long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,

It is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction

Of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.

Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying

That the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confession brings perfection.

No pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the church’s mission.

No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted,

knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that

Will need further development.

We provide yeast that

Produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything,

And there is a sense of liberation in realizing that,

This enables us to do something,

And to do it very well.  It may be incomplete,

But it is a beginning, a step along the way,

An opportunity for the Lord’s grace

To enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results,

But that is the difference

Between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own.  Amen!

[Attributed to Archbishop Oscar Romero, but

Written by Bishop Ken Untener.]