On November 24, 2006 (American Thanksgiving) I wrote a blog focused on these words of Meister Eckert. “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.”
Those words were fresh in my mind that day as I was reflecting on thankfulness and on all that I had to be thankful for. In that same blog I wrote these words; “Syl Janisse who works at Marcotte’s Funeral Home once asked me "which of the sins offends the Father the most?" His answer to that was ingratitude. We often forget in our prayer life and in our life in general to offer thanksgiving” On New Year’s Eve Sylvain Janisse aged 75 died after a short illness due to a heart attack. Just a few weeks ago we were laughing and sharing stories. Just a few days seemingly have passed since we again spoke of ingratitude. Syl had asked me that question over a year ago and I said I needed some time to think about it. Just a couple of months ago he reminded me that a year had passed and I still had not answered the question. I told him that I thought that it might be greed.I asked him to tell me what he thought – I knew he was anxious to tell me anyway. That was when he told me about ingratitude. He quoted Eckert that day and reminded me that we should approach prayer as a conversation in thankfulness. Syl was right. We take far too many things and far to many people and relationships for granted. I know that our friend Syl, who always had a smile and a kind word for all who came to the funeral home, would want us to be thankful for the shortness of his illness, the peacefulness of his death, the joy of his life, the love of his family, the love of God for all of us, and the relationships we share with each other. I cannot believe that Sylvain is gone.
It was strange going into the funeral home tonight, knowing that I was there for prayers for the man who would usually be there to greet me with a kind, “good night Father, How are you? How is your lovely wife doing?” I will miss the kind, wise gentleman who shared good humour and thoughtful dialogue about faith and life.
Sylvain was a very thought filled person. Eckert also is credited with saying “What a man takes in by contemplation, that he pours out in love.” Syl was a man of great contemplation and we all were beneficiaries of the love that flowed from that thoughtfulness, prayerfulness and discernment. Farewell Sylvain. Well done Good servant. You will be missed.