the spiritual practice of blessing

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for the month of November, you are invited to participate in the following spiritual practices. (You are welcome to share your gratitudes and blessings under “Comments” or you may wish to buy a small notebook to carry with you.)

1) Name one gratitude each day. Pay attention as your day unfolds — notice what touches your heart. Gratitude is the response of our heart to the blessings we have received.

“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us — and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God.”

Thomas Merton

“Grateful living is a way of life which asks us to notice all that is already present and abundant – from the tiniest things of beauty to the grandest of our blessings – and in so doing, to take nothing for granted. We can learn to focus our attention on, and acknowledge, that life is a gift. Even in the most challenging times, living gratefully makes us aware of, and available to, the opportunities that are always available; opportunities to learn and grow, and to extend ourselves with care and compassion to others.”

Brother David Stendl-Rast

2) Bless one person or situation each day. Again, notice where your heart is drawn, and respond from the well of compassion within you.

“The word “blessing” evokes a sense of warmth and protection; it suggests that no life is alone or unreachable. Each life is clothed in raiment of spirit that secretly links it to everything else.”

“In the light and reverence of blessing, a person or situation becomes illuminated in a completely new way. In a dead wall a new window opens, in dense darkness a path starts to glimmer, and into a broken heart healing falls like morning dew.”

“Whenever you give a blessing, a blessing returns to enfold you.”

John O’Donohue, “To Bless the Space Between Us

You may wish to create one simple blessing to repeat every day for the person or situation you wish to bless. Spend some time in prayer and quiet, asking God to give you a blessing. Let it be an expression of your heart.

Or you may prefer to create a new blessing each day, letting it spontaneously rise up to each individual situation or person.

You can also do an online search for blessing ideas. Here is a brief and beautiful blessing excerpted from Romans 15:13:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace…”

 

I will begin our blessing practice, with a blessing poem for you.   ~peace and love, Donna

For Belonging

May you listen to your longing to be free.

May the frames of your belonging be generous enough for your dreams.

May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart.

May you find a harmony between your soul and your life.

May the sanctuary of your soul never be haunted.

May you know the eternal longing that lives at the heart of time.

May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.

May you never place walls between the light and yourself.

May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you, mind you, and embrace you in belonging.

John O’Donohue, “To Bless the Space Between Us

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “the spiritual practice of blessing

  1. Joan

    I am lacking in ‘intentional’ gratitude. Don’t know why but… I need reminders like this. 😔🙏🏼 Thank you !

    Reply
    1. ghlstn Post author

      Joan~ thank you for your honesty. I am sure most of us can relate. I think it’s why we are invited to “practice” blessing. It’s like gradually building up a muscle or learning a new skill like playing an instrument or knitting. It’s one small step at a time.
      I just found a little notebook I will use this month to record my gratitudes and blessings. I am trusting that doing it each day this month will be a good “training” as I move into winter’s darkness. 🙂

      Reply
  2. sandygracecorby

    It took a couple of days before I started to record my blessings.Resistance? I am now sitting quietly at night and looking at what I recorded during the day. Even though it may have been a tough day there are still blessings. Instead of dwelling on the not so pleasant things that happened I find myself dwelling on the gifts God has given me. I find my outlook brighter. I find I have more room for love. Love of God and others. Not perfect, a lot of learning.

    Reply
    1. ghlstn Post author

      Sandy, I am touched that you are practicing this remembering of blessings and gratitudes through your day. I am especially drawn to your words, “I have more room for love…” I believe our capacity to love does expand as we focus more on gratitude and blessing.

      Reply

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