O ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who crownest the year with thy goodness, and hast given unto us the fruits of the earth in their season: Give us grateful hearts, that we may unfeignedly thank thee for all thy loving- kindness, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A WORD FROM THE FATHERS
“WE ought all of us always to give thanks to God for both the universal and the particular gifts of souls and body that He bestows upon us. The universal gift consists of the four elements and all that comes into being though them, as well as all marvelous works of God in the divine Scriptures. The particular gifts consist of all that God has given to each individual. These include wealth, so that one can perform acts of charity; poverty, so that one can endure it with patience and gratitude; authority, so that one can exercise righteous judgment and establish virtue; obedience and service, so that one can more readily attain salvation of soul; health, so that one can assist those in need and undertake work worthy of God, sickness; so that one may earn the crown of patience; spiritual knowledge and strength, so that one may acquire virtue; weakness and ignorance, so that, turning one’s back on worldly things, one may be under obedience in stillness and humility; unsought loss of goods and possessions, so that one may deliberately seek to be saved and may be helped when incapable of shedding all one’s possessions or even of giving alms; ease and prosperity, so that one may voluntarily struggle and suffer to attain the virtues and thus become dispassionate and fit to save other souls, trials and hardship, so that those who cannot eradicate their own will may be saved in spite of themselves, and those capable of joyful endurance may attain perfection.”(St. Peter of Damascus, 12th century spiritual writer)