By Ron Galt
Director of Mission and Pastoral Care, Essen
tia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center
During the month of November we are given a number of opportunities to remember and give thanks. For example, Thursday, Nov. 1 for many people of the Christian faith tradition is the Feast of All Saints. During this day in particular, we are invited to remember and give thanks for the lives and examples of the saints, those whose names we remember easily and whose names are written in books and are well known. These saints have given witness to their faith and have lived lives of inspired service and selflessness often in very difficult circumstances. In addition, we remember and give thanks for those whose names are not written in books and who are not given a liturgical feast to celebrate in church but whose lives are not in any way less important or less inspiring. Here we could call them the “living saints.” Perhaps this would be someone in our own family, a relative, a teacher, nurse, physician, volunteer or caregiver who by their very words, actions or sacrifice have moved and inspired us.
Also, on Thursday, Nov. 22 we celebrate Thanksgiving. What a wonderful opportunity to offer thanks for what we have, what we have been given and for the God who loves us unconditionally. Our hope and prayer may be that we will find a moment that day and indeed each day to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for whatever reason, even when our lives may be challenging, difficult and stressful. As we go about our daily lives may we see in each other, someone who cares, someone who listens and someone who seeks to make a healthy difference in the lives of another human being. May we also seek every opportunity to give witness to the values of our faith that we hold dear and which have been passed on to us by the saints, both deceased and living who have preceded us. May our God be with us and may He bless us each and every day.