List five things for which you are grateful

It is not often that I head to the prison in a really piss-poor mood. Just what the guys need, a cranky presider at the third Friday communion service. I had even entertained putting them on alert at the start of the service, especially those who are always yakking away  along the side wall.

But as I stopped by my local parish to pick up consecrated hosts, the massive silence of the empty church began to take hold of me. Counting out the 12 hosts has always been a solemn exercise and was no less so today.

Stopping by the post office with the 15th of the month bills followed by getting the car partially filled up … used up the stub-end of a couple of gift cards … and then driving the hour and a half to the prison was all very therapeutic.

We had a wonderful communion service followed by a 45-minute discussion in response to the statement: List five things for which you are grateful. Each of the 16 offenders had a small piece of paper to list his items of gratitude, and each one shared his list with the whole group. Really quite moving.

My final visit at the prison today was to a man in the infirmary who is “gratitude personified.” He is a terminal case, can’t see well, but always has a smile and welcomes the Eucharist. He also shared with me five things for which he is grateful.

In any event, I left my mood somewhere along the highway on the way to the prison.

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One Response to “List five things for which you are grateful”

  1. Carol Mock Says:

    Tom, I loved following your day on the way to the prison and back. You are a gifted writer–keep it up!

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