Prayer of Thanksgiving for All the Seasons of Life

Eternal God, O Timeless One,

You tell us: “For everything there is a season,

and a time for every matter under heaven” (Eccl. 3:1).

We thank you for all the times and seasons of our lives:

A time to be born and a time to die.

A time to be young and a time to be older.

A time to sow and a time to reap.

A time to laugh and a time to weep.

(Photo by Jacob Colvin – Pexels)

A time to do and a time to just be.

A time to stay and a time to leave.

A time to be together and a time to be apart.

A time to say hello, a time to say goodbye,

and a time to say hello again with no more goodbyes.

A time to say yes and a time to say no.

A time to hold on and a time to let go.

A time to say “I’m sorry” and a time to say “I forgive.”

A time to follow, a time to lead,

and a time when no one remembers who’s following or leading.

(Photo by Yan Krukov – Pexels)

A time for darkness and a time for light.

A time to mourn and a time to celebrate.

A time to toe the line and a time to break the rules.

A time to plant, a time to uproot,

and a time to plant new seeds from what was uprooted.

A time for action and a time for waiting.

A time to ask, “What if?” and a time to bless what is.

A time to be hurt, a time to be held,

a time to be healed, and a time to simply behold.

(Photo by RODAE Productions- Pexels)

Eternal God, O Timeless One,

we thank you for all the seasons of our lives,

and for all those who help to make

every season worth living. Amen.

I wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for reading my blog! I really cherish our “Sunflower Seeds Community!” God bless you all!

For reflection:

Did any phrases in the prayer stand out for you at this particular time in your life?

Would you add any lines to this prayer?

PS: I will be in Florida from Saturday November 27 until December 11. Next week I’ll be giving talks at the Franciscan Center in Tampa as well as Espiritu Santo Parish in Safety Harbor (See information on the right side of this blog.) I ask your prayers for these events. Then I’m making my annual retreat in Florida from December 4-10. I promise to hold all of you in my special prayer during this time. “Sunflower Seeds” will be posted as usual while I’m gone. I’ve written enough reflections to last until Dec. 20!

Today’s video is Josh Groban’s “Thankful.” Lines that stood out for me in this song: “We hope for what we still can’t see…there’s so much sorrow… we’re all connected… it’s up to us to be the change… there’s so much to be grateful for…”

I invite you to write a comment below…


  1. Ed Johnson on November 22, 2021 at 6:47 am

    Sister Melannie, All,
    Such a beautiful reflection for this very special time of the year; words we should carry with us every day of our lives. Love Josh Groban’s words and music! Thank you. I have always loved Thanksgiving because it brings to mind simple gifts, family, friendships, and peace. May yours likewise be blessed.

    • Mary Ann Cluley on November 22, 2021 at 7:17 am

      This is such a beautiful reflection. It brought so many thoughts and memories to mind of new life and lives lost this past year and gratitude for each and every moment shared with family and friends. John Groban’s words and song touched my heart so deeply and sprung open the well of tears in my heart. I love this season of Thanksgiving so much because of its simplicity of just being with family and friends and, of course, food for sharing. Blessings and gratitude to you Sr Melanie for the gifts you have shared with us by your blog.

  2. Marianela Iribarne on November 22, 2021 at 6:47 am

    Grateful for you for the inspiration that helps me get through difficult times. Will keep you in prayer during your travels

  3. Nancy Carman on November 22, 2021 at 7:03 am

    Thank you Sister Melanie for your beautiful words.I was so disappointed when you didn’t post on Monday.I am dedicated to your wisdom and insight.I have so much to be thankful for.and must not take anything for granted.Will keep you in my prayers.God bless you.

  4. Thomas DeFreitas on November 22, 2021 at 7:32 am

    Happy Thanksgiving, Sr Melannie! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Peace and light, today and always.

  5. Judy Lee on November 22, 2021 at 7:44 am

    Sr. Melanie,
    Thank you for your faithfulness in writing your blog. I don’t always comment, but know they help me begin my
    Mondays with a new prospective. The world is in a mess but you remind us with your words and songs that God is still in control! We have so much to thankful for. Thank you!!

  6. Antoinette Geraci on November 22, 2021 at 7:56 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to all! Thank you Sr. Melanie for your beautiful thoughts❤️

  7. Missy Butler on November 22, 2021 at 9:00 am

    God blessings your retreats. Happy Thanksgiving all. I am very thankful for Sunflower Seeds.

  8. Jean H on November 22, 2021 at 9:57 am

    Thank you Sister Melannie,
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and to all.
    I am thankful for your weekly words.

  9. John Hopkins on November 22, 2021 at 10:29 am

    Good morning, Sr. Melannie…
    Good morning, all…

    “A time to do and a time to just be.”


    Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. Barbara Seiberlich on November 22, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Thank you for a beautiful new take on a timeless message.

  11. Pat on November 22, 2021 at 10:47 am

    A time to say …thank hit my heart today….

  12. Nita Comp on November 22, 2021 at 11:06 am

    Happy Thanksgiving Sister! Such a beautiful poem. thanks so much, Nita

  13. Karen Early on November 22, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Sister Melanie, Thank you for your beautiful reflection today and every Monday! Happy Thanksgiving everyone. We truly do have much to be thankful for!

  14. George Marsh on November 22, 2021 at 11:24 am

    A time to surrender and be enslaved.
    A time to resist, to fight at the risk of death for people to be free.

    Such ideas come to me when I consider World War II, totalitarianism and international defense compacts. Jesus said to Pilate that his “attendants” would have fought to protect him, if his realm had been of this world (John 18:36). Self-defense, police and military forces seem justifiable within prudential limits at least in certain highly stressful times, in this earthly condition.

  15. Annie on November 22, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    I love your prayer! You chose great pictures and a favorite song of mine too! The phrase, “It’s up to us to be the change…” is a good reminder. That phrase helped me go vegan. We can bemoan the lack of action on climate change, and wait for incentives for solar panels, but one thing many of us could do(and not have to wait for others to take action) is to eat more plant-based meals. Change often happens one person at a time.

    We truly have so much to be thankful for! Thank you for your blog!

  16. Joanne Bennardo on November 22, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    May we celebrate:
    “A time when no one remembers who’s following or leading.”

    May our dance be grand and give glory to God, Who escorts us onto the dance floor each day. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  17. Shirley on November 22, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you Sister Melannie for your blog. Wishing you and all a very Happy Thanksgiving. Prayers for safe travels and for your retreat.

  18. Janet Kreiner on November 22, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    I am grateful for your blogs every week because they lift my spirits and gladden my heart.
    Now that I’m older this line speaks to me: A time to do and a time to be.

  19. Joanne McFadden on November 22, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    Sister Melanie,
    What a beautiful blog and so appropriate for this season. My prayers for you as you give your retreats. Wish you would come back to St. Peter’s in Naples FL.
    Bless you and Happy Thanksgiving.

  20. Kathy Z on November 22, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    So many lines of your reflection touched my heart as I look to tomorrow when my siblings, our families & I say “See you later” at our mother’s funeral celebration. She was 101 years old & we were truly blessed to have her with us for so long. I know there will be tears shed, but there will also be much joy in knowing that she is heaven-bound to be reunited with our dad & all those who have gone before her. May she be resting in the arms of our Lord!
    Thank you for your blog. I’ll be sharing this reflection at the table on Thanksgiving Day. God’s blessings to you.

  21. Noreen Horwedel on November 23, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    Dear Sister, the song Thankful, says it all. Thank you for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving to all and Blessings for a Thankful Thanksgiving Day. Safe travels.

  22. Patty S. on November 24, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.

  23. Jean Canatsey on November 28, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    Dear Sr. Melannie,
    I loved the poem and I think that at 82 my favorite line is “A time to stay and a time to leave.” I loved the picture of the autumn trees around the lake and the song “Thankful” touched my heart.
    Thank you, Sr. Melannie, for your Monday blogs.

  24. Donna Callaghan on November 29, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    What a beautiful meditation …..and the music!!!! I forwarded the column on to some dear friends all of whom were so grateful to have received! Thank you Sr Melanie……..donna
    Somehow though I did not receive today’s column! My Monday’s won’t be complete without your words😊

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