November 19-25, 2001
volume 12, no. 157

Thanksgiving on Bended Knee

    Thanksgiving Week is a time to reflect on what Thanksgiving truly is. The secular version is turkey, dressing, cranberry, sweet potatoes and all the fixings topped off with pumpkin or mince meat pie, but the true version - the one that has been with us for nearly 2000 years is the great everlasting nourishment of the Bread from Heaven given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist. Eucharist in Greek is "Thanksgiving" and, other than life itself, there is nothing more precious than the One, True Faith that is the vehicle for this Sacramental Banquet of the soul.

    One of those who takes his Faith seriously and realizes the great gift of our Faith is Robert Quinn, who sent us the pertinent poem below. One stanza that truly hits home with the difference between churches before Vatican II and those today was the fifth one, which goes,
                                         "And to those who would have God's home on Earth
                                         Set apart in a separate room
                                         What value, I ask, can a marriage be worth
                                         If the Bride is apart from the Groom?
Robert shares his thoughts on why he wrote the poem below:

        Through the years I have read I have read many stories of people returning to the Faith. Most of them took the first step by entering a church, kneeling in a rear pew, and praying to God from afar. They focused their prayers and attention on the Tabernacle on the altar.

        When reading the story of Our Lord's Crucifixion, I often reflect on these words: "The curtain of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom" (Matthew 27:51). Since the "Holy of Holies" was hidden from view to all except the High Priest(and only accessible to him once a year), could it be that this act was God's way of signifying that the new "Holy of Holies"....namely, each tabernacle-was to be easily viewed by all? In this spirit, I offer the following poem for reflection. I originally wrote it in 1997.

A Lamp is Not Hidden Away


Robert Quinn

          Upon entering a church, for Mass or a prayer
          The presence of God I do feel
          In the Tabernacle, resplendent there
          As toward it I reverently kneel.

          To thank Him for opening, to all, Heaven's door
          He who suffered for you and for me
          The gesture I choose, as the Saints did before
          Is to reverently bend the knee.

          I kneel to Our Lord, in Whose presence I am
          For to stand is unfitting to me
          I kneel to Our Lord, the Sacrificial Lamb
          Who, for our sake, died on a tree.

          Long ago, in a garden, Our Lord knelt to pray
          To His Heavenly Father above
          And as His supplication was offered this way
          I, too, use this gesture of love.

          And to those who would have God's home on Earth
          Set apart in a separate room
          What value, I ask, can a marriage be worth
          If the Bride is apart from the Groom?

          Jesus said that a lamp is not hidden away
          Where its light is seen only by few
          Yet the Light of the World would be treated this way
          If contained in a room out of view.

          So, may God's home first greet you, when you come to pray
          In Thanksgiving for being set free
          And remember Our Lord in the garden that day
          As you reverently bend your knee.

    Robert Quinn is a retired 69-year-old devoted Catholic, whose apostolate in The Light of the World is to spend each day writing or speaking to others about our Holy, Catholic Faith. He sends copies of each letter to over 650 people, including the Pope, 15 Cardinals world-wide, over 75 Bishops nationwide, priests, nuns, rectors of seminaries of both the Novus Ordo and the Tridentine Mass, as well as hundreds of lay people. His e-mail address is for those who wish to receive his letters by e-mail. His phone number is 718-497-6464 and address is 69-11 67th Place, Glendale, NY 11385.

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November 19-25, 2001
volume 12, no. 157
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