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Notes from Fr. Vic

Pastor's Page

"My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me."

John 10:27

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.


Vivat Jesus,

Fr. Vic Gournas

Older Messages:

January 2, 2023 - Catechism in a Year / Benedict

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

March 20, 2023 - St. Joseph, Spouse of Mary

March 26, 2023 - Penance / BAA

April 2, 2023 - Holy Week

April 9, 2023 - He Is Risen

April 16, 2023 - Divine Mercy

April 23, 2023 - 3rd Sunday of Easter

April 30, 2023 - Good Shepherd

May 7, 2023 - Priesthood

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

Older Messages:

July 3, 2023 - Fourth of July

July 8, 2023 - Interior Rest & Peace

July 17, 2023 - Our Lady of Mount Carmel

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

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