I am currently working in our community’s archives, spending my days sorting hundreds of documents and artifacts. The boxes seem endless, lined up on long tables, as I sit there handling one item at a time. While there was a period of my life when this kind of activity—identifying what something is and deciding where it ought to be filed—would have been too intellectually stimulating for me and led to burnout, I now see it as a privileged opportunity to get in touch with my executive functioning skills.
Life for nearly everyone has been upended to some degree these days, and it can be easy to get swept away in a current of fear and anxiety, or to teeter out on the edges of loneliness. In times like these, when many things seem to be out of one’s control, turning (or returning) to daily, simple practices of prayer can provide a deep peace that only comes from opening oneself up to the grace and love of God.
We at the McGrath Institute for Church Life want to observe and celebrate Thanksgiving in a special way. On our radio show and podcast, Church Life Today, we shared five passages about the Eucharist and thanksgiving, with reflections to guide us into rediscovering how an exchange of thanksgiving occurs in the Sacrament of Sacraments. We know, of course, that the holiday Thanksgiving is not itself about the Eucharist. But this civic holiday is probably the closest in character to our religious holidays, and all the more because it is a feast dedicated to giving thanks. For those who revere and adore the Eucharist, we know that being transformed by that particular and unique “thanksgiving” should shape and transform our entire lives.
Domestic life can be… challenging. Many people are still spending more and more time in their homes, and many more are finding that the struggle to keep the home a space where people would actually want to spend their time is very, very real.
Over the past few years, I’ve become increasingly reliant on my online calendar; classes, meetings, coffee dates, phone calls, times for work or rest all have a neatly colored slot on the screen. Yet as I scroll through the next few weeks, the reality of graduating amid such global uncertainty reveals itself in a series of empty, unclaimed days ahead.