Notes from Fr. Vic
"My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me."
November 22, 2023
Gratitude and Thanksgiving
With the Thanksgiving Holiday, and then the holy season of Advent to come, our thoughts turn to giving thanks and prayerful reflection. I ask, is there a correlation between gratitude (giving thanks) and prayer?
Gratitude is itself a form of prayer. Everything we have and are is a gift from God our Creator. In our highest form of worship, the Mass and the“Eucharist” [Greek eukharistia, means “thanksgiving] — we see that thanksgiving is a “true giving” of self. It is that which we can give to God because it is the gift from our heart’s joy. Something God can’t have unless we give it to Him in freedom.
Gratitude is deeply human and deeply spiritual. There is no animal equivalent to gratitude, and while all cultures have expressions of gratitude, there is no facial expression that is universally recognized as gratitude. This is a clear indication that gratitude goes beyond the natural to the supernatural.
Ultimately, gratitude is the foundation of the spiritual life because everything is a gift. Sometimes we get so caught up in our feelings and let them take control. But everyone has something to be grateful for — and perhaps the most profound thing is this: Whatever is going on in your life, there is a God who loves you. Whatever sins you’re caught up in, Jesus Christ died on the cross for you. Whatever darkness you live in, the Holy Spirit has been sent to set you free. Whatever wounds you have, the Church is here to offer you healing. Whatever fears you face, we are here as brothers and sisters to wage war together against all the powers of darkness.
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving. I am spending the time with my family in Raleigh. Look forward to returning to my IOP FAMILY this weekend.
I will end with a little of my quirky humor:
-Thanks,” says G.K. Chesterton, “is the highest form of thought.” And he mentions the fact that the worst moment for an atheist is when he is thankful and suddenly realizes he has no one to thank.
Fr. Vic Gournas
January 8, 2023 - Epiphany
January 22, 2023 - Homily Notes
January 29, 2023 - Reflections
February 5, 2023 - Divine Love
February 12, 2023 - Reflections
February 20, 2023 - Faith That Produces Fortitude/Perseverance
March 1, 2023 - Fasting
March 6, 2023 - Almsgiving & BAA
April 2, 2023 - Holy Week
April 16, 2023 - Divine Mercy
April 23, 2023 - 3rd Sunday of Easter
May 14, 2023 - Carlo Acutis
May 21, 2023 - Receiving the Eucharist
June 7, 2023 - Body & Blood of Christ
June 18, 2023 - Father's Day
June 25, 2023 - Fear of the Lord
July 8, 2023 - Interior Rest & Peace
July 23, 2023 - Homily Notes
July 30, 2023 - Homily Notes
August 6, 2023 - Transfiguration
August 13, 2023 - Homily Notes
August 20, 2023 - Homily Notes
August 27, 2023 - All In
September 3, 2023 - September Blessings
September 17, 2023 - Forgiveness
September 24, 2023 - Wages of Sin
October 1, 2023 - Readings 26th Sunday
October 8, 2023 - Eucharist
October 15, 2023 - Pastor Notes
October 29, 2003 - Homily Notes
November 7, 2023 - End of Liturgical Year Reflections
November 12, 2023 - Homily Notes