Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Thought

I found this interesting letter from Saint Basil: Letters and Collected Works (Philip Schaff, ed.) that might be good to ponder for Thanksgiving. To whom the letter was addressed is unknown, possibly Olympius, a colleague which he addressed other letters of this character:

"After by God’s grace I had passed the sacred day with our sons, and had kept a really perfect feast to the Lord because of their exceeding love to God, I sent them in good health to your excellency, with a prayer to our loving God to give them an angel of peace to help and accompany them, and to grant them to find you in good health and assured tranquillity, to the end that wherever your lot may be cast, I to the end of my days, whenever I hear news of you, may be gladdened to think of you as serving and giving thanks to the Lord.  If God should grant you to be quickly freed from these cares I beg you to let nothing stand in the way of your coming to stay with me.  I think you will find none to love you so well, or to make more of your friendship.  So long, then, as the Holy One ordains this separation, be sure that you never lose an opportunity of comforting me by a letter."
-St. Basil, Letter XI

Reading the letter reminded me of the last part of the old Anglican blessing before meals "May this food be to our use and ourselves to your service. And may we be ever mindful of the needs of others..."  especially those this holiday season who are sick, friendless, needy, and for those who are alone. 

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