Thanks For Nothing, Bishops…
Most people will think that, in Europe, there is no Thanksgiving and, in the obvious sense of the word, they are certainly right. However, feasts to celebrate the harvest were certainly well spread in Europe, and Catholic parts of Germany still have the Erntedankfest, which is basically the same thing.
What I think has happened is that these traditions were strictly linked to the agricultural world, and lost importance as the latter’s importance also declined.
It’s a shame, really, and it would have been wise for the Church to promote the celebration of the harvest outside of the rural, agriculture-linked world.
In my eyes, such a celebration would achieve the following objectives:
Firstly, it would focus the attention on food coming from God. Factories can’t produce wheat, and no amount of technology will cause an artificial seed to sprout and become a plant. Granted, Europe does not have the patriotic lore linked to the feast, but the fact remains.
Secondly, it would remind everyone that the availability of food is not a given. My generation grew up with tales of food scarcity (brutal at times) during the Second World War. We think we can have everything if we have credit on the card. This is not really so.
The feast could be accommodated to echo, or mimic, the dates of the feasts that were celebrated in the past, and could be a nice bridge to the upcoming Advent.
I don’t want to remake the liturgical calendar here; but I am sure these feast days were still there, and already had their own regional traditions. One would only have to rediscover them, like those traditional beers people knew were there but did not really drink anymore, before the idea to actually revive the tradition came.
Perhaps the one or other Bishop could take such an initiative, or the one or other Bishops’ Conference could appoint a day for regional celebration.
But what am I saying.
To our Bishops, what’s most most important is having you vaxxed, masked, and silenced. The idea of celebrating God’s grace would be a dangerous distraction to them.
So I’ll tell you what I’ll do. Today, I will not only take time to reflect on the many graces God has given and continues to give to me, starting from, actually, food. But I will also give thanks for having discovered the authentic Catholic Faith, notwithstanding my Bishops trying to keep it away from me.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers.