Thanksgiving as a Remedy for the Soul – AND – How to Add 1000 Calories to Your Thanksgiving Turkey

At the heart of thanksgiving is not just food, but also family and fellowship. And, in these busy and distracted times we don’t have enough of these. But communion with God and each other is a foretaste of heaven. On the road to Emmaus Jesus gave a poignant picture of heaven: walking, talking and dining. And though I suspect we’ll do little walking this Thanksgiving, surely talking and dining will be an important part of it for most of us.

Pushes back the Evil One – And be mindful of this, our intentional communion, our talking and dining, if done with charity, pushes back the incursion of the evil one and helps prepare us for heaven. And we also stress charity and be intentional about it. For the devil despises communion and will do what he can to destroy or limit what ever communion we seek or find among each other.

I am somehow mindful of a quote from Pope Benedict XVI:

If there were such a thing as a loneliness which could no longer be penetrated and transformed by the word of another; if a state of abandonment were to arise which was so deep that no “You” could reach into it any more, then we should have real, total loneliness and frightfulness, what theology calls “hell”. We can now define exactly what this word means: it denotes a loneliness which the word love can no longer penetrate…a night into whose solitude no voice reaches. (In Introduction to Christianity, commentary on “Descended to hell.”)

Yes, our Thanksgiving fellowship, our communion of love, is essential for us. A kind of a remedy for the soul and a protective embrace against the powers of Hell. It helps, by God’s grace, to push back the loneliness and alienation that easily envelop us today in this “communication age.” For, as we too easily discover, communication is not the same as communion. In this simple feast we are reminded that we were made for love and communion.

Allow God to work many graces in for you this thanksgiving, especially the grace to love and find deeper communion with Him and others.

On a lighter note, this T.V. commercial in the video below (from the 1950s) teaches you how to add at least a 1000 calories to your Turkey this year.

Despite the terrible dietary advice given herein, I must say this video gave me a warm memory of my father, mother and sister as I watched it. For when I was very young, my mother and sister would be in the kitchen preparing the bird, and bonding as only a mother an daughter can. And my father would be nearby sharpening the knives and preparing for his role in cutting the turkey and the roast. (Though he would never wear the silly apron seen in the ad). They are all deceased now, but I can almost see them in this look into the past;  a communion still.

9 Replies to “Thanksgiving as a Remedy for the Soul – AND – How to Add 1000 Calories to Your Thanksgiving Turkey”

  1. Wishing you and your colleagues a happy Thanksgiving filled with loving communion and some extra butter.

  2. Ah ha! The evolution of the “Butterball Turkey!” Enjoyed the commercial of simpler times in the American family. (You must have been in the living room watching football?)

    Wherever your Thanksgiving day and communion take you my prayer for you is that it continue to be filled with God’s presence as you remember and cherish past memories and may His love sustain you as you continue to make new memories. Communions to last a lifetime!!

    God’s generous blessing’s to you, Monsignor. Bon Apetit’

  3. That was utterly delightful, Monsignor! I’ve used butter (one of God’s great gifts to mankind) on turkey since I started cooking my own. Lesson though – I didn’t realize one could be fully dressed and “made up” to bake a turkey. I kind of thought the flannel nightgown was a requirement…

    A real testimony to love and hope is how we continue to gather together at these big holidays – even when sometimes there is sure to be dread or strife because of the influence of evil and a seeming lack of love – that’s what it’s all about. We keep trying.

    Have a good one, Monsignor.

  4. I’m considering riding my bicycle the 9 miles to work on Friday. I’ll surely have calories I need to burn.

  5. ” On the road to Emmaus Jesus gave a poignant picture of heaven: walking, talking and dining.” I find this a powerful quote from you, Msgr. Pope, for indeed it exemplifes what you have stressed that relating to one another is not just through communication, but in communion with one another. Jesus’ walking with and talking to the two disciples culminated in “the breaking of the bread.” It is in the breaking of the bread that God reveals himself to us; it is also in “the breaking of the bread of our lives” that we reveal ourselves to God and one another. Thank for for this insight that you’ve brought me. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  6. Butter baking a turkey doesn’t add calories because its mostly on the skin to brown and nobody eats the skin in our family; its all about pretty presentation. I don’t know if the injecting turkey in modern times makes it any different maybe more calories since its actually put inside the meat.
    We are having 10 for dinner, 3 people that I am not particularly fond not part of our family.
    Always invite people you don’t like for the holidays, they don’t always come but you should offer just the same, feed those that would most likely never have a full meal that day. I can’t stand thinking of people sitting alone on a holiday. No matter how boring or disagreeable they are, opening your heart to them is what Jesus would have done.
    (Note my house is a technology free zone on holidays, no computer, You Tube, gaming or
    texting allowed only conversation.. what a concept huh?)
    Happy Thanksgiving Monsignor!

    1. Well, I eat the skin, which I flash-crisp it in the final 20 minutes of roasting. I don’t use butter at all. I prefer to anoint the whole bird with olive oil before seasoning it and placing it on the rack. At the temperatures I use, butter would just burn, I’m thinking.

  7. I’m quite sure my pastor ran across this while planning his homily for Mass today, since he made the same exact points you did. Thanks for this and may you have a wonderful and blessed holiday!

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