CREDOS : Give thanks — I

As soon as everything that is done at table is finished, all rise as the abbot does so, and the whole community says along with the servers and the cellerer, “Thanks be to God!” - The Rule of Master

I worked with an author once who taught me a great deal about being grateful. The whole time we worked together he was dying from a genetic disease that had already killed all his siblings. He had lived a good deal longer than many other people with his disease and I was fortunate to know him, even if it was only for the last nine months of his life. I don’t believe Bill ever ended a conversation with me without thanking me for publishing his book.

About two weeks before he died, Bill spent a whole hour telling me how blessed his life had been and how grateful he was for everything he had been given.

I listened to him tell me about how much he valued his wife, the time he has spent in seminary, and all the people he had met there, how thankful he was for seeing his book in print before he died, and much more.

I have never forgotten the power of hearing someone, who had suffered with a fatal disease his entire short life, talk about how blessed he had been, and how grateful he was to God.

It was our last conversation and I knew it when we talked. Bill was calling to say good-bye and he needed someone to listen to him tell his story once again before dying. I think I was in tears the entire hour that he talked. —