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The best idea for place settings at your Thanksgiving table

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Get some pretty paper and voila ... you'll turn your guests' minds to what we're really celebrating.

I wanted to come up with something a little different for Thanksgiving dinner this year, to highlight God’s call for us to always be thankful. It seems at least at my house, there’s much more talk about food than about thanks!

Last year we went around the dinner table with each person sharing something they’re thankful for. What could I do this year to emphasize the need to express our gratitude, as St. Paul encourages: “For all things give thanks; this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus” (Thessalonians 5:15)?

In reading about the life of St. Teresa of Avila, I came across the following quote of hers, and was inspired to track down other quotes by saints on the importance of gratitude.

So for each dinner guest, I decided to print out one quote and put it by their place setting. Here are the quotes I came up with:

In all created things discern the providence and wisdom of God, and in all things give Him thanks. St. Teresa of Avila

The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment, and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness. St. Gianna Molla

No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.  St. Ambrose

Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among holy ones, no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out-of-place, but instead, thanksgiving. St. Paul (Ephesians 5:3)

O my God, let me remember with gratitude and confess to thee thy mercies toward me. St. Augustine of Hippo

A single, “Blessed be God!” when things go wrong is of more value than a thousand acts of thanksgiving when things are to our liking. St. John of Avila

Gratitude is the first sign of a thinking, rational creature … Thank God ahead of time. Blessed Solanus Casey<

Remember the past with gratitude. Live the present with enthusiasm. Look forward to the future with confidence. St. John Paul II

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