A few years ago I was on a mission trip to a remote part of Honduras and was struck by the beauty of simplicity. The people I encountered had a joy that came from the bonds of community, the beauty of their surroundings and a deep faith in Christ, despite their material limitations.

Encountering different forms of poverty helps us to learn what is truly important. At Maggie’s Place we encounter women from all sorts of backgrounds, we hear their stories and see their need. Sometimes this can be overwhelming and other times it can be inspiring, when we are able to see the profound resilience of the women we serve.

Twice a day at Maggie’s Place the MissionCorps pray the following prayer:

Divine Providence can provide, Divine Providence did provide, Divine Providence will provide.

It reminds us that every good thing comes from the Lord and that He will provide us with everything that we need if we only rely on Him. This is a great reminder for me, since I tend to be a worrier and often feel overwhelmed by poverty and by my own lack of strength.

Maggie’s Place is rooted in the Catholic Christian tradition although people of all faiths are always welcome. As a Catholic, though, I can’t help but reflect each year at this time on one of the most precious parts of my faith: the Eucharist.

The early Christians gave this name to the breaking of the bread that Christ left us, which Catholics believe is His true presence on earth. The word Greek word eucharistia actually means thanksgiving. By celebrating the Eucharist we are responding to the great gifts of God, coming together as a community to celebrate the sacrifice of Christ, and giving thanks to Him for all of it.

The Eucharist reminds us what is truly important in this life. Through it God provides us spiritual life just as He provides us physical life each day.

No matter what faith tradition you are a part of, I hope that this Thanksgiving offers a chance for reflection. What is truly important? How has God blessed you? Sometimes these blessings may take the form of an invisible, spiritual strength that gets you through each day. Take a look around at the people you are sharing it with and count the love (even if it is difficult to see).

Above all, I encourage you to remember that God Himself is the greatest gift of all.

 

By Dominique Lefaive, a MissionCorps