Dear Still Water Friends,
I’ve always liked Thanksgiving. As Brother David Steindl Rast highlights in the excerpt below, in the simple act of giving thanks, we learn to love and to enliven our lives.
Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no gathering on Thursday evening, November 28, at Crossings in Silver Spring. However, all other regularly scheduled Still Water gatherings will occur as usual. This includes Thursday morning sittings at the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church (beginning at 7:25 am) and at Blueberry Gardens in Ashton (beginning at 7:00 am). Also, on Friday, November 28, there will be gatherings at Crossings in downtown Silver Spring (beginning at 7:00 am). at Friends House in Sandy Spring (beginning at 3:30 pm), and at Blueberry Gardens in Ashton (beginning at 7:00 pm). Please join us at one or more of these gatherings if you are free on Thanksgiving morning or on the Friday afterwards.
I hope everyone has a gratitude and love-filled Thanksgiving.
A bow to everyone in our extended Still Water community.
Gratitude is the Pivot on which Love Rests
by Brother David Steindl Rast from Gratefulness: The Heart of Prayer
We grow in love when we grow in gratefulness. And we grow in gratefulness when we grow in love. Here is the link between the two: thanksgiving pivots on our willingness to go beyond our independence and to accept the give-and-take between giver and thanks-giver. But the “yes” which acknowledges our interdependence is the very “yes” to belonging, the “yes” of love. Every time we say a simple “thank you,” and mean it, we practice that inner gesture of “yes.” And the more difficult it is to say a grateful “yes,” the more we grow by learning to say it gracefully. This sheds light on suffering and on other difficult gifts. The hardest gifts are, in a sense, the best, because they make us grow the most.
We know that our deepest joy springs from living in love. The key to that joy is the “yes” which love and gratefulness have in common. Thanksgiving is the setting in which that “yes” is most naturally practiced. This makes gratefulness a school in which one learns love. The only degrees one receives in that school are degrees of aliveness. With every “yes,” one relationship or another grows deeper and broader. And aliveness can only be measured by the intensity, depth, and variety of our relationships. If the fullness of gratitude which the word grate-ful-ness implies can ever be reached, it must be fullness of love and fullness of life.