The day before Thanksgiving, I was trolling around the blogworld looking for a grace that would be "less Catholic," since some of the family members that would be pulling up to my table have sadly become Unitarians. And Unitarians of the "greatest power in the universe is human reason" kind. They barely condescend to acknowledge the presence of a God, except perhaps as a catch-all term for stuff that our brains haven't understood yet, or a term used by weak-minded people.
One of them is a cradle Catholic, but they look at those of us who make the Sign of the Cross as though we were laying food offerings before an idol. How quaint, their faces say. Their children don't have a clue (I feel sorriest for them).
So I thought that, being the hostess, I was entitled to control the grace and picked one that mentioned God, as Heavenly Father, but no Jesus Christ and no sacramentals. I seized the opportunity and thanked God for the trials and gifts He sent me this year, and passed the thanksgiving on around the table, then said the short grace and then watched them eat.
This is the season of the Awkward Grace, for those of us (I imagine everybody here) who has family and friends that are somewhere between lapsed and pagan. I would have enjoyed a prayer, a song or a psalm, but they would have left others resentful or confused. So a combination of cowardliness and reticence took me down the short rhymed thanks to God route.
This is different than those of you who are Catholic and have family/friends who are anti-Catholic but are still fervent believers in Christ. I kind of envy you right now.
Who said that they marvelled at atheists when they felt thankful for a beautiful day; to whom do they direct their thanks?