Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Thanksgiving Wish!

Thanksgiving is such a uniquely American holiday. While turkey, cornstalks, and the images of pilgrims and their native hosts can trace their origins to the colonization of the United States, one of the most commonly found Thanksgiving symbols is rooted in folklore.

The enduring image of the cornucopia or horn of plenty and its wicker-like basket of overflowing fruits, vegetables, grains and flowers is everywhere this time of year. It is printed on paper plates, paper napkins and is available in an array of 3-D models for Thanksgiving centerpieces.

The horn of plenty symbolizes abundance and was originally a goat’s horn, not the straw creation we see today. According to legend, it was overflowing with fruit and grain but could be filled with whatever its owner desired. It came to represent inexhaustible riches. Perhaps that is why early colonists chose it to symbolize their prosperity (or survivability) in the new world.

Regardless of its heritage, it also has a more practical meaning today. It symbolizes gratitude. Without support from people like you, we would not be here. We are grateful and thankful to you! Just as early pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving together, we are always mindful that all of our successes come from the support of people like you.

The horn of plenty is an interesting symbol. At one end is abundance; fruit, grains and flowers fill a large funnel-like opening that tapers into almost nothingness. The greatness at the end traces its beginnings to very small, very humble origins. That is not unlike the mission and successes of the Church. We, too, can trace our origins to very humble beginnings.

Often people believe their resources may be too small to make a difference; only large gifts and huge talents can propel a mission. However, the horn of plenty does not start large. It starts with only a small point. Each of us can be that small point if we choose to be!

As regularly as Thanksgiving arrives in November each year, our experience has taught us that there are more than large gifts that sustain our Center. Rather, like the cornucopia, it is the small gifts that combine, emerge and grow together to form the abundance we know today. Thank you for all that you have done, and thank you for all that we can do together!


*Author unknown

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