The forgotten art of blessing

Added: Latoria Moll - Date: 12.04.2022 00:11 - Views: 35808 - Clicks: 5397

May the road rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, And the rains fall soft upon your fields. And, until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand. While it is a very simple blessing, the Irish words are a powerful reminder of how important a blessing can be in our lives.

Unfortunately, in our culture today, we have become a nation of cursers, not blessers. Our movies, our music, our magazines are crammed with four-letter words. Drive down any highway and you will see people cursing each other with flying fingers and flailing fists.

The forgotten art of blessing

Visit any playground and you will not only hear cursing from the mouths of babes, but also witness the violent behavior that cursing calls forth. The act of cursing has become so prevalent in our society that we seem to be a people that has forgotten how to bless. This goodness, and the desire for goodness, is the heart of what blessing is about. Cursing, on the other hand, is the opposite of blessing.

To curse is to call evil or injury down on someone. It is to invoke or pray for evil. And so in life, we find ourselves offered The forgotten art of blessing choice: to bless or to curse, to call forth goodness or to call down evil. As Christians, we need to understand the implications that accompany this choice. If we are to be a people of God, we need to relearn the forgotten art of blessing.

To offer a blessing is not a difficult task. In fact, a blessing can be so simple that all too often we take the act of blessing for granted. Whether we are aware of it or not, we bless ourselves each time we make the of the Cross. Despite this inherent simplicity, the act of blessing can take on more meaning if we come to understand the three basic elements The forgotten art of blessing comprise a blessing, such as our Irish blessing.

The first element in any blessing is that there has to be a relationship with God. When we bless, when we ask for goodness, we ask from the source of all goodness, we ask God. When things are going well in our lives—when the road seems to rise and meet us—our relationship with God will be positive. Cursing is the furthest thing from our minds. When things are not going so well in our lives—when the road does not rise to meet us—everything in life can seem like an uphill struggle.

It is during these times that we run the risk of losing our relationship with God. If we allow this to happen, we are unable to bless. We become like the embittered psalmist who can only curse. Relationship with and belief in God are essential to blessing. The second element in a blessing is the ritual of transfer of the blessing or the goodness.

The forgotten art of blessing

Historically, this transfer of the blessing takes place physically through words that we pronounce and gestures that we make, such as uplifted arms or actual laying-on of hands. The person giving the blessing transfers the blessing in such a manner that it will somehow be experienced by the receiver.

The sense of touch, whether it is the wind at your back, the sun shining upon your face or the firm hand of a priest blessing your forehead, can convey an enormous life-sustaining power. A blessing is the bridge between heaven and earth. The transfer of the divine that occurs when we bless is truly a sacred moment. The third element of a blessing is the enhancement of the receiver, wherein we envision the goodness of the blessing. Even Jesus, when he pronounced the Beatitudes, envisioned a goodness that would give comfort and hope to millennia of believers.

We have in our possession the ability to envision virtually any future for humanity. The power to bless is incredibly awesome. Our days are filled with endless opportunities to practice the The forgotten art of blessing of blessing. Morning after morning, we can begin our day by choosing that divine vision, not only for ourselves, but also for all who we might encounter in the course of a day. We might also choose to use this opportunity to include a brief morning prayer. This self-blessing through gesture, touch and words can become an important ritual that will help us to spiritually center our day.

Our mealtimes provide yet another important opportunity for blessing. We know from our New Testament reading that Jesus would The forgotten art of blessing bless food at the feeding of the multitudes and at the Last Supper. In our society of abundance, we take our food supply for granted, indulging and overindulging, even to the point of impairing our health. Why not take a moment at each meal to pause and bless the nourishment before us?

The forgotten art of blessing

Mealtime graces from The Catholic Prayer Book include:. Before meals: Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts which we are about to receive from your bounty. Through Christ our Lord. After meals: We give you thanks, Almighty God, for all your gifts, who The forgotten art of blessing and reigns, for ever and ever. Our homes, the core place where we spend our lives, can also be blessed. Many priests are willing to visit and bless a home. Similarly, in Jewish homes the mezuzah is placed on the doorpost.

We all need that reminder, whether we are just sitting around the house or venturing out into the world, that the goodness of God is with us. Perhaps the most important of the blessings that we can bestow in life would be the regular blessing of our children. Today, we give our children everything that is material and little that is spiritual, then we are surprised when does something amoral.

It is The forgotten art of blessing that our children taste and see the goodness of the Lord. We need to forget cursing. More than ever, we need to continue to bring the flow of the divine into our lives. Say to them: The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace! Sascha T. Moore is the pseudonym of an author who writes essays and poems about theology and social justice. Subscribe to Franciscan Spirit blog!

Franciscan Spirit Blog. The Elements of a Blessing The first element in any blessing is that there has to be a relationship with God. Opportunities for Blessings Our days are filled with endless opportunities to practice the art of blessing. Mealtime graces from The Catholic Prayer Book include: Before meals: Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts which we are about to receive from your bounty. Amen After meals: We give you thanks, Almighty God, for all your gifts, who lives and reigns, for ever and ever.

Amen Our homes, the core place where we spend our lives, can also be blessed. Like Aaron and his sons, we too hold that awesome power to bless. We just need to use it. About text formats.

The forgotten art of blessing

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A Season of Blessing: Rekindling a Lost Art