Sharing an abundance of grateful columns

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The Global Sisters Report staff celebrates our United States Thanksgiving Day today, Nov. 28, with the rest of our global family — even though you may celebrate on another day!

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We are grateful for our readers, for our GSR staff, and for our abundance of good columnists. As a Thanksgiving gift, we have gone to our treasury of good columns and selected a few to share with you. May you discover for yourselves the gift of gratitude!

The gift of giving thanks by Sr. Colleen Gibson, published Nov. 24, 2017

Did you ever feel we should be thankful for our ability to give thanks, that thanksgiving is a skill you can develop? True thanksgiving invites us to a place of vulnerability and deep reflection. Who would you thank if given the chance? Sister Colleen makes a college writing assignment count in this meditation.

Gratitude: a gift from the heart by Sr. Barbara Smith, published Feb. 19, 2019

Gratitude should not be limited to one day of the year, a national holiday, but should "permeate each and every day of our lives." We need to recognize that there is so much we take for granted — like our breathing — that should be acknowledged with gratitude. Sister Barbara helps us see that all of life is gift.

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Edible relics: my mother's pickles by Sr. Karen Jean Zielinski, published May 10, 2018

Holiday traditions and meals keep us in touch with memories of our loved ones. Sister Karen Jean teaches us to be grateful for the sights, sounds and smells that evoke the blessings of the past. She found a key to her own happy memories far back in the refrigerator, in a jar of her mother's homemade pickles.

Gratitude, abundance and enoughness by Sr. Christin Tomy, published Nov. 25, 2015

Living on a farm for the first time, Sister Christin discovered that there are lessons of gratitude to be learned from wintry darkness and from people living in material poverty. In this meditation, she teaches us that true gratitude is shown in the way we choose to live and that "what we have" is everything but material excess: It is material "enoughness."

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Snow on Sr. Christin Tomy's farm in Wisconsin (Christin Tomy)

Pearls at the house of mercy by Sr. Joan Sauro, published Aug. 14, 2019

Sister Joan shares her delight in and gratitude for the ocean and the sweetness of cookies at the retreat house of mercy, not to mention the blessings of health, friendship and grace. "Gratitude is the memory of the heart," we learn, and we are reminded to treasure — like a pearl of great price — the blessings of each hour. 

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What a feast that would have been! by Sr. Nancy Linenkugel, published Nov. 26, 2015 

In one of her earlier blogs for Global Sisters Report, Sister Nancy gave us some insights into the importance of individual perspectives as she shared a lighthearted look at a potential holiday meal disaster — don't hang up too soon on that turkey information hotline! — and the joy of sharing kitchen chores with two of her younger brothers.

My Thanksgiving prayer by Sr. Jeannine Gramick, published Nov. 25, 2015 

How can we be grateful for what brings pain and shame? Reflecting on a difficult relationship in her own life as well as all the lessons that tough and challenging times bring, Sister Jeannine expresses gratitude for faith and perspective. May we thank God for all those who loved us, especially when we did not appreciate or recognize their love. 

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Gratitude is giving of oneself by Julianna Lewis, published Dec. 5, 2018

Julianna Lewis, who at the time was a VIDES+USA volunteer with the Salesian sisters, shares her experiences of a Fiesta of Gratitude in Bogotá, Colombia, reminding us to be grateful for those to whom and with whom we minister. 

Make Thanksgiving special, take time to reflect, by Nancy Sylvester, published Nov. 25, 2019

Sister Nancy Sylvester suggests that we make time to think about the key elements of the story of Thanksgiving. She gives a process of reflection for us and our loved ones.

Global Sisters Report is grateful for all our writers: staff, sisters, associates and, more recently, the young people who describe for us what it's like to volunteer to work in sisters' ministries. Happy Thanksgiving!

[Ursuline Sr. Michele Morek is Global Sisters Report's liaison to sisters in North America. Her email address is mmorek@ncronline.org.]