Dear St. John’s,
I hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving. It’s a good time to count our blessings and to give thanks to God for all that we have.
Often, gratitude is a matter of perspective. I once heard a story about a rich traveler who stopped at a monastery and asked if he could spend the night. By chance, a poor man did the same. The next morning, the monks asked how they had slept.
“Oh, it was terrible!” said the rich man. “The mattress and the blanket were thin, and the pillow was small. It was nothing like my big feather bed and thick quilts and fluffy pillow back home.”
The poor man, however, reported that he experienced a wonderful night’s sleep.
“Everything was so warm and comfortable,” he said. “I’m used to sleeping on the ground, with a stone for a pillow and only my coat the stars to cover me.”
Life presents many challenges. But even in difficult circumstances, we can learn to see the so-called silver lining.
That rich man might have given thanks for the monastery’s hospitality, even if it wasn’t as luxurious as he was used to at home. After all, if the monks hadn’t taken him in, he might have been sleeping on the ground under the stars himself.
An attitude of gratitude is healthy. It helps us to maintain a positive mindset and remain aware of God’s many blessings. It gives us hope.
Among my blessings, I give thanks for all of you and for the ministries of St. John’s. As we embark upon the holiday season, let us demonstrate our gratitude by continuing to find ways to serve our neighbors. This will bring even more blessings to be thankful for – for them and for us!
P.S. – Among the world’s blessings is the pause in the war in the Holy Land and the release of hostages. The following prayer is from the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.
A LITANY FOR THE RESTORATION OF PEACE IN THE HOLY LAND
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