Like so many things in modern North American society, Thanksgiving can trace it origins back to the Christian tradition. Thanks giving was actually a Christian practice that took place in church and was usually to mark a specific event and thank God, in fact it was often used for giving thanks for the righteous triumph in a war! If you have ever used the expression “thank God” then you were closer to the original “thanks giving”. The reason to give thanks was to achieve a “state of grace”.
So let’s delve deeper into this concept. I find it so fascinating to uncover how traditions have, dare I say, evolved over the centuries such that the original form may be unrecognizable.
The Christians were born into “original sin” (which we now understand from late 20th century scroll discoveries to be better translated into english as the word “mistake” – more accurately translating to mean: all people are born to make mistakes – certainly a statement with which most of us agree). And if we abide (continue to “sin” or make mistakes) we shall remain a “wretch” (a miserable person, one who is profoundly unhappy). That all seems sensible to my mind.
In Christianity “divine grace” refers to the sovereign favor of God for humankind, especially in regard to salvation – irrespective of actions (“deeds”), earned worth or proven goodness. More broadly, divine grace refers to God’s gift to humankind, including life, creation and salvation. More narrowly, but more commonly, grace describes the means by which humans are saved from original “sin” and granted salvation (insert hallelujah chorus here). This latter concept of “salvation” is hotly contested and of central importance in the theology of Christianity and has done much to “create” sectarianism within the religion but that is for another discussion altogether.
In religion, salvation generally refers to being saved from an undesirable state or condition. In western religions this state is typically one in which an individual faces a prospect of damnation or eternal torment in another realm. In eastern religions, this state is typically one in which an individual faces earthly suffering during endless cycles of death and reincarnation.
Grace becomes the the enabling power sufficient for progression (either out of eternal damnation or the last reincarnation). Grace divine is an indispensable gift from God for development, improvement and character expansion. Without uniting with grace there are certain limitations, weaknesses, flaws, impurities, and faults (ie carnality) humankind cannot overcome. Therefore it is necessary to grow in grace for added perfection and completeness.
Being that we are all part of the divine miracle of life, and in keeping with the belief that we have conscious ability to direct the law I offer this acronym to assist in your journey towards more grace in your life.
G – is for gratitude, the gift of our healthy and wealthy lives
R – is for righteous intention (acting in an upright, moral or virtuous way) I often think of righteous as a short statement (right for us – that does not exclude others)
A – is for always believing in our power to create within our lives through the universal law of attraction.
C – is for choosing conscious living and awareness.
E – is for everlasting love for ourselves and all others
The exercise is to memorize the acronym and then throughout your day test yourself to see if you are living in a state of grace. If you are, then celebrate. If you are not then choose again.