[For the audio version of this homily, click here: Thanksgiving 2011]
- I’m thankful to God for the love he has shown me through other people since my diagnosis. That love has been most evident through the faithful, daily prayers that are being said on my behalf—some by people I’ve never even met!
- I’m thankful to God for the opportunity this disease has given me to grow in empathy and in compassion for others. It’s much easier to relate to those who are suffering and to console them when you are suffering yourself.
- I’m thankful to God for giving me the opportunity through this illness to offer up some suffering in reparation for my sins and for other people—especially the souls in purgatory. Hopefully that will make my own experience of purgatory a lot easier!
- I’m thankful to God for using this illness to keep me from getting complacent in my spiritual life. We all tend to pray more—and to pray more fervently and attentively—when things are difficult in our lives.
- I’m thankful to God for the way this disease has made me more grateful for the little blessings of life that I experience every day—things I used to take for granted.
- I’m thankful to God for the motivation that Parkinson’s has given me to refine my priorities. Not that my priorities were way out of order beforehand, but they definitely needed a little “tweaking”—which is probably the case for most of us.
- And, finally, I’m grateful to God for the way that Parkinson’s Disease has made me more repentant. When you have a serious illness of any kind, you realize that, as the Letter to the Hebrews says, “We do not have here, on earth, a lasting city.” Consequently, keeping your relationship with God in good order becomes extremely important.