What a weird story on the world stage– the French snubbing the British in their D-Day celebration plans.
Fr. Alexander Schmemann is well known for his teaching about gratitude. I haven’t got the reference to hand, but ever since I heard about it, I have tried to remember to thank God explicitly for particular blessings every day.
I thought this news story really illustrated a lack of gratitude. I don’t know much about European politics, or any politics, but it looks like several ingredients have gone into making this particular story. France & England have a long history of fighting each other, but nevertheless England joined the other allies to help liberate France from the Nazi occupation.Since then, there certainly has been gratitude expressed by France. But this year, they neglected, or apparently simply chose not, to invite the Queen.
It seems as if there is some plan by France to pay particular regard to the US and its new president. Maybe there are pesonal and political agendas going into the snub too. Regardless– it’s just wrong.
Not long ago it occurred to me to add my former pastors to my prayer list for the reposed. They were various non-Orthodox types, but they had the care of my soul while I was in their churches. I need to be grateful that they taught me the Faith, if incompletely, and prayed for me at those stages of my journey
I think we need to be mindful to nurture and express gratitude to our allies, elders and teachers of various sorts, in the family or in the church, or in our work life. Even to sometime adversaries when they may uncharacteristically come to our aid. We shouldn’t forget what they have given us, even if there is a later falling out, a memory of an old conflict, or an experience of being let down (as is inevitable with princes and sons of men.)
More yet should we beware treating such debts of gratitude lightly if it is only for some personal gain that we may contemplate snubbing or betraying these people, telling our selves that we aren’t really doing them any harm, or that we didn’t agree with them about such and such anyway.
Lord have mercy on us, how little self-awareness we sometimes have.