It’s a mild day here in Lufkin, in the piney woods of east Texas. The leaves of our trees are falling fast now, and the needles of our pines. It is somewhat overcast, but I don’t think it will rain. The temperature is balmy, and there is a feeling of the holidays in the air.
As soon as I finish this message, I will go sit out on the front porch of our monastery to read part of the Liturgy of the Hours. The liturgy today celebrates the presentation of Our Blessed Mother in the temple when she was a little girl. It would probably be more appropriate for me to go into the chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is solemnly exposed. But on the front porch, I can see the oaks, the pines, the tallow, and the holly tree in our front yard. And I can see the sparrows, the chickadees, the cardinals, and the juncoes coming to my bird-feeders for their seeds, and watch the squirrels scampering up and down the trees and busily burying acorns on our grounds. Mourning doves, too big to feed at my feeders, daintily find the seeds that have fallen from the feeders to the ground. An occasional hawk will circle overhead. The crows now and then make themselves heard in the woods. The sun moves from my right to my left, from east to west. The creek that runs through our property is pretty quiet now since we haven’t had rain in the last couple of days. The hummingbirds have gone for the winter, and our pine trees continue to blanket the area beneath their branches with needles.
Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving Day with all its associations and memories. My Thanksgiving will be full of contentment, quiet joy, and peace. Above all, it will be a day when I can again be very much aware of all that I have to be thankful for. God has been very good to me. Some of his greatest gifts to me have been you who listen to or read this message. So let me say thanks—to God for you, and to you for all that you do and all that you are. I am very grateful. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This Message was composed some years ago.