My Pandemic-Thanksgiving Prayer

“How does a lamp burn? Through the continuous input of small drops of oil. What are these drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things of daily life: faithfulness, small words of kindness, a thought for others, our way of being silent, of looking, of speaking, and of acting. Do not look for Jesus away from yourselves. He is not out there; He is in you. Keep your lamp burning, and you will recognize Him.” — Mother Teresa

Despite the tremendous darkness of 2020, despite the fear, the doom, the gloom . . . there is still light. Each of us is capable of contributing to the illumination of our world; we must keep our lamps burning.

But how? How can we find hope amidst a global pandemic? How can we find joy when we cannot gather with our loved ones around the Thanksgiving table? How do we keep our lamps burning when there is darkness pressing in all around us?

We fuel the light of our lamps with acts of love. As Mother Teresa told us: let us act faithfully, speak kindly, think selflessly, be silently, and look, speak, and act with a sense of love towards others.

When we gather for Thanksgiving today–even if our numbers are small, even if we can only see our loved ones virtually, even if we are alone–let us be thankful for the light of each others lamps and for the acts of love that fuel them. Let us recognize Jesus within ourselves and within our neighbors.

And after Thanksgiving, as the days continue to darken, as the winter we all dread grows nearer, let us keep our lamps burning with selfless acts of love for one another, and let us illuminate our world together.

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