Friday, November 28, 2008

Gratitude leads to joy and happiness

Eucharistic Adoration, tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. Please join us!!
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I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving Day yesterday, enjoying the cornucopia of food and drink that reminds us that when God gives He gives in abundance. We have so much for which to be thankful, and so many who came to Mass yesterday expressed those things for which they are thankful.

I ask bloggers to do the same here; please post up to three things for which you are thankful. I am thankful for the Eucharist, for being assigned to St. Andrew’s, and for beating the Cowboys in Dallas (!).

The retreat master of my Fall retreat, Msgr. Steve Rossetti, gave a talk entitled, “Becoming a Eucharistic People”. He focused on the many benefits of giving thanks regularly. The overall point was that gratitude leads to joy and happiness. We should give thanks EVERY DAY for the sake of gratitude, but also because it brings us more health and happiness. Msgr. Rosetti offered evidence to the latter point, referring to results of a Gratitude Study done years ago that was published in the Journal of Personality & Social Psychology (2002):

- daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, and energy

- gratitude group (those who gave thanks regularly) exercised more regularly, had fewer physical symptoms, and quality and duration of sleep was better

- gratitude group experienced less depression and stress (!). They experienced higher levels of optimism & life satisfaction without denying negative aspects of life

- gratitude group were more likely to feel loved and to help others, i.e., helped someone with a personal problem or offered emotional support

- gratitude group more empathic and rated as more generous and helpful by others

- grateful people were less envious of others

- they were less materialistic and more religious or spiritual (attend services or engage in religious activities)

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“I think it is impossible for anyone to be simultaneously grateful and unhappy. So the solution to much of the unhappiness that humans experience is a reawakening in the human heart of the idea of gratitude. That's why I think it is a great idea for non-believers to celebrate Thanksgiving. Let anyone start expressing and experiencing gratitude--if not vertically toward God, at least horizontally toward others in the human community--and you'll find that person holding a new lease on happiness.” - Rev. William J. Bryon, S.J.

In all circumstances give thanks” (1 Thess 5:16-18)

Eucharistia: Greek – thanksgiving

“If the only prayer you say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ it will suffice”. – Meister Eckhard

10 Comments:

At 12:06 PM, Blogger CynthiaBC said...

Among many other things, and in no particular order

I'm glad that my parents are still around, and that my daughter has had the opportunity to get to know them.

I'm grateful that my family has time to spend together and to pursue common interests - we all take karate and participate in music.

I'm pleased that my daughter has managed to stay out of the principal's office so far this year. I haven't had to dread the appearance of her school's number on my telephone.

 
At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Carol said...

I am thankful for my faith. What a gift!

I love St Andrew's, our priests, and the community of friends here. I feel I am home when at St. A's.

I am thankful for the beauty and holiness of the National Shrine.

 
At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Katherine said...

I am thankful for God. Without God I would have died in my horseback riding accident. And never have known how wonderful having faith is.

I am thankful for my team at Shady Grove ER - without the awesome people I work with we would never help so many patients! My team also includes the patients, because I learn something new from someone every shift. Just last night I learned how to do an upside down IV!

I am thankful for St. Andrew's. If people there hadn't reached out to me I may have left the church for a long time (long story). I am thankful for Father Greg and Father Mike, who have really made me feel at home in this parish, and everyone I have met and talked to so far that has made me feel welcome. I am very very thankful that Father Greg has been helping me heal from recent experiences.

Katherine

 
At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was prepared to give thanks for the Seahawks, but they sooo blew that last night…

I’m grateful for my children- they make me laugh when I need to laugh. They teach me about faith and give me perspective on what is good and important in life.

I’m grateful for living in a country where we not only have a voice but are encouraged to speak.

I’m grateful for a priest who is generous, kind and courageous. The example he sets makes me want to be a better person.

Here are some of my kids’- ice cream, Nintendo Wii, neighbors, friends, our dog, music, our country. Oh yeah- my daughter added her cell phone with unlimited text messaging!

 
At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more- I'm thankful for Eucharistic Adoration. I'm thankful there's a time I can go to find what was missing in my week.

 
At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a gift you gave us. Thank You.


Traveling great distances, teaching

Honesty, kindness, love and

Acceptance of all people.

Nails, vinegar and thorns,

Kindled only more love, compassion and forgiveness.

You took your last breath to

Offer us

Unending life.


Thank You Jesus.

 
At 2:36 PM, Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

I walked 1500km in France and Spain this year. One song I carried with me was about thanks as a prayer. Towards the end of the first week, my feet had got tender, the weather was bad, and sometimes I wondered what on earth I was doing. It was at those times that I sang the 'thanks' song. And somehow it began to permeate all my days, so that the overwhelming feeling I have from the whole walk is one of thankfulness for all that I experienced.

 
At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanksgiving 2008 Top 10 (www.ncregister.com)


Top 10 reasons to be thankful after the election.

10. Hollywood will make movies that treat America as great again.

9. Schools will show unqualified respect for the presidency, again. (Tell your kids to do their President’s Day report on W., just for fun.)

8. We no longer have to deal with people’s “Bush defense shields” every time we talk about our issues.

7. If thing don’t go well (and, ahem, have you seen the financial news lately?) it won’t be on the pro-life side’s watch.

6. The March for Life is going to be huge. And two days after the inauguration.

5. A man whose race was first brought to American en masse as slaves has risen to the highest office in the land.

4. There’s still a pro-life majority.

3. We can capitalize on our huge pro-marriage wins.

2. Our hope is in the one who created everything, and he’s pro-life, pro-marriage and still in control.

1. A lot more people will be inspired to pray ... and evangelize.

Tom Hoopes

 
At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Ryan said...

I'm thankful for...

Prayer;

A wife who continues to show me that courage, hard work, and love makes for a happy life;

Family and friends - beautiful children, loyal friends, and parents who have nurtured me with unending patience;

Work.

 
At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, Please help me to see what to be thankful for.

 

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