Every year at our annual family Thanksgiving dinner, my extended family gathers in a circle for prayer before the meal. After our prayer, we also go around the circle (which is quite large, usually around 40 family members) and say something we are thankful for. This is not a tradition unique to my family, as I know many other families and groups gathering for a Thanksgiving feast do the same, yet there is something beautiful with voicing our gratitude that unifies us and brings us even closer together.
This year our work for justice and peace has been filled with advocacy, education, preaching, and prayers. Truly, 2017 has been a year like no other, and while it’s been disheartening and dismal at times, we’ve seen peace and justice budding and growing all the while.
This is the week we come together to share our thankfulness for the blessings we’ve received. Here is a short (and incomplete) list of what I’m thankful for this year:
- The Dominican Sisters of Peace and Associates Justice Committees who continually work for peace and nonviolence, an end to human trafficking, immigration reform, and eco-justice with a passion and commitment that is inspiring and energizing;
- Increased political involvement and awareness by countless individuals and communities;
- Events that bring together individuals in a display of unity and determination such as the Women’s March in January, the March for Science in February, and the People’s Climate March in April;
- The lawyers who mobilized at airports after the President’s refugee ban, and the continued support for immigrants and refugees;
- Our Dominican family and all our families and friends;
- Communities who have become Sanctuary Cities and churches who have opened their doors as a sanctuary to those facing deportation along with the communities who support them;
- The U.S. Climate Alliance, a bi-partisan coalition of states committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement; and
- The solar eclipse in August which brought together individuals, sparked conversation about science and the Earth, and filled communities with wonderment.
There continue to be endless people, events, and initiatives to give thanks for. May we continue preaching peace and showing gratitude for our many blessings.
Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for this year?