Fr. Niko's Monthly Message November 2023
“We bless you, O God, most high and Lord of mercy. You are always doing great and inscrutable things with us, glorious and wonderful, and without number.”
- Prayer of Saint Basil the Great
Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,
A Harvard study completed in 2021 concluded, as many others before it, that gratitude contributes greatly toward happiness.
Couples who participated said that when they expressed gratitude toward their partner, they felt more positive toward them and more comfortable expressing concerns. Managers who thanked employees said that those employees were more motivated in their work than those who had not been thanked. Individuals who kept “gratitude journals,” daily reminders of things they were thankful for in their life, affirmed that they were happier than before they journaled. Truly, gratitude, or “positive psychology,” has a tremendous effect.
Our Church has understood this from her beginning, and often includes prayers of thanksgiving in our services. From the Divine Liturgy, to Orthros and Vespers, and even in personal prayer, we thank God for what He has given us again and again. Far more than being a mere statement of fact, however, there is also an element in these prayers of encouraging us to remind ourselves to express our thanks.
Thanksgiving was established as a holiday in America centuries ago, in its essence, to thank our Creator for all the gifts in our lives. As we celebrate the holidays this year, let us remember that we truly have much to be thankful for, and that in reminding ourselves of this truth, we can be happier in life, as well!
Please know that I am grateful for all of you in my prayers, as well! Happy Thanksgiving!
With sincere gratitude,
Father Nikolaos Bekris - Proistamenos