Monday, October 26, 2020

Dean Powery on the Value of Gratitude

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In his column in the (Duke) Chronicle on October 26, Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery drew a lesson about gratitude from the briefest prayer he remembers his father praying—"thank ya."

"Thanksgiving opens up space in our hearts toward the hearts of others, even the holy Other," he wrote. "This mode of thanksgiving is not purely a one-time event spoken over a meal or one day we celebrate in November. It is a way of being in the world through all circumstances."

In addition to his father's wisdom, Dean Powery drew on insights from the Apostle Paul, the medieval mystic Meister Johann Eckhart, contemporary Christian author Lewis Smedes, and the website

"My hope is that you would make gratitude a habit and be sure to say, “thank ya,” Dean Powery said. "Make a phone call this week and tell someone how much you appreciate them and why. Write a note thanking someone for encouraging you or helping you work through a problem or teaching you something new or just for being your faithful friend."

"Give thanks even to the One attached to all the gifts you’ve received because gratitude is a holy attitude toward the gift of life."

Read the column.