by Margaret Perrotta
Count your blessings. How do you count your blessings? Do you count the day-to-day events that make life enjoyable? Do you count the great, happy moments in life that take your breath away? Do you count the life-saving moments that force you to appreciate everything? I am sure you would agree that, somehow, you count all these blessings. Have you ever wondered what to do once you’ve counted them?
I admit that until recently, these three, simple words did not provoke much thought. But in the last few months, I can’t help but wonder if society has unknowingly reduced the meaning of this phrase. In response to my husband’s life-saving surgery this past September, I have heard my family and friends tell me numerous times to count my blessings. And so I wonder, was the original intention of this popular phrase to simply count your blessings?
Oddly, I found my answer at the St. James school mass this morning. In his opening prayer, Father Chris caught my attention when he spoke about all the blessings we have in life. Next the reading emphasized that having faith does not only mean believing in God, having faith also means taking action and helping those less fortunate. This concept today is often embodied in the phrase pay it forward. Then in his homily, Father Chris urged the students to be thankful for all that their parents have done. Of course, this thankfulness should extend to God. Mass ended with awarding two students each a Christian Spirit Award and a teacher the Heart of the School Award.
As I sat there, I realized a new phrase should be coined and promoted: Count your blessings, pay it forward, praise God and broadcast your Christian Spirit. In other words, appreciate all the blessings you have in life, share in your good fortune, thank God and share your Christian Spirit.
Through all of this, I could not help make a connection to a cherished annual event: the SS. Crocifisso (Holy Cross) Feast sponsored by SS. Crocifisso di Ciminna (Chicago) Society. At this public event we celebrate the miracles we receive from God, rededicate ourselves to pay it forward, show our devotion to God and give Him thanks. Today, I recognized that there is one more purpose for this event: to broadcast our Christian Spirit and encourage others to share God’s love.
In the spirit of this revelation, I encourage you to attend the 16th annual SS. Crocifisso Feast on June 9 and 10 at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines. Proceeds will benefit the children at Maryville Academy. You’ll find me there showing my Christian Spirit.