National Catholic Register

Opinion

Thanksgiving 2008

BY Father Owen Kearns, LC

November 23-29, 2008 Issue | Posted 11/18/08 at 12:36 PM

 

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, a day which takes on special meaning after an election. This year, as Americans battle in the political arena over the right to life, it’s helpful to remember a time when America was battling — literally — over the right to liberty.

In those days, President Lincoln prayed on Thanksgiving for God “to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it ... to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and unity.”

We pray for the same thing this Thanksgiving — for a nation united once again around its founding principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

While we pray for this, it’s helpful to remember that the first Thanksgiving celebration in the New World — on Sept. 8, 1565 at St. Augustine, Fla. — was centered on Our Lady and the Mass. Let’s include both at Thanksgiving 2008, as well.