Wednesday, November 24, 2010


What with tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I decided last week on a rather unoriginal idea: to write a list of things I'm thankful for.

That said, I am thankful for:

1. Teresa, our almost 8-year old daughter, who told me a couple weeks ago, “Daddy, today I learned the difference between perfect and imperfect contrition” – and then proceeded to explain said difference in a way that would surely have satisfied even St. Thomas Aquinas.

2. Cecilia, our 6-year old daughter, who already has way, way more artistic talent than I have, allowing her to create neat pictures like this:

3. Lucy, our 5-year old daughter, who loves to sing along as loudly as she possibly can to the soundtrack of Annie.

4. Joe, our 3-year old son, who always seems happy and who seems to make everybody else he sees happy too.

5. Anthony/A.J., our 19-month old son, whose willingness to climb most anything causes me to think he’s destined for many fearless pursuits throughout life.

6. That all of our children’s godparents are exemplary role models who pray for them every day.

7. Our new baby, due in April.

8. That all of us are in relatively good health.

9. Jocelyn, who is, well, just an awesome wife.

10. Jocelyn, who is, well, just an awesome mom.

11. A job I absolutely love.

12. A modest home in a decent neighborhood.

13. Two motorcars that are paid for, one of which, given to us by one of my brothers 10 years ago, still runs just fine.

14. The speech therapists I met with (after being picked up by the short bus) a few times a week from kindergarten through second grade who helped me overcome a significant stuttering habit.

15. The many great teachers I’ve had throughout my life.

16. The time I spent teaching from 2000-2004.

17. A family and extended family (on both my side and Jocelyn’s) in which – more or less – everybody gets along.

18. Chicago-style pizza.

19. The writings of G.K. Chesterton.

20. Countless good friends.

21. Loving and supportive parents.

22. Having had the chance to study in Rome for four months in 1997.

23. Having grown up in a home in which neither money nor food was wasted, which very much helped me to learn the proverbial “value of a dollar.”

24. Having grown up in Minnesota, as a result of which I know that the proper way to play the game is “Duck, Duck, Gray Duck” – not the silly, ridiculous apology known as “Duck, Duck, Goose”.

25. Our local parish – St. Odilo – a mere four blocks from our house, where the Tridentine Mass is offered every Sunday.

26. St. John Cantius, our “other” parish – where, on any given Sunday, three or four priests hear confessions before (and during) Mass, so that wretched, habitual sinners like me are able, as often as we need, to bare our souls to someone who really and truly does have the power to forgive them.

27. Far more than I could possibly hope to include in a list like this.

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