“Blessed be God, Blessed be His Holy
Name, Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man…” At the conclusion of a
Holy Hour with the Blessed Sacrament exposed and adored, the priest or deacon
gives the benediction or blessing upon the people with the most Blessed
Sacrament, which is Jesus Himself…
Then before reposing the Blessed
Sacrament in the Tabernacle the ordained minister invites the people to praise
God with the Divine Praises. St.
Ignatius Of Loyola in the Spiritual Exercises in his consideration Principle
and Foundation highlights the primary purpose of our existence on earth is to
praise God and to save our immortal souls.
In this short essay we would like to
invite all to get into the habit of receiving blessings and blessing God, and
others and the whole creation with our presence. May your life, words, presence
and actions be a constant blessing on the world now, tomorrow and all the way into eternity.
VARIOUS FORMS OF BLESSINGS IN OUR
WAKE UP: BLESS GOD RIGHT AWAY! Upon waking the first thing we should do is
to make the Sign of the Cross and bless ourselves with the sign of the cross: “In
the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Every day, upon
awaking, this should be our first gesture and our first words! The Cure of Ars points out: “He who starts out well will finish well.”
Start your day with God’s blessing; live out God’s blessing and end your day
praising and blessing God!
MEAL TIME. We must recover and establish in our homes
and lives those beautiful traditions of our parents and grandparents. Though it
be a very simple gesture, it is very significant: bless our meals before
eating! By doing this we are expressing
God great gratitude for all that He has given to us out of His infinite bounty
and goodness. Also by blessing the meal with the family, we invite Jesus to sit
down at the meal table to be with our family. What a great presence! What a
PARENTS BLESS YOUR CHILDREN. Every night parents should form the habit of
blessing their children before they retire for the night. Parents are called to
be a blessing for their children as well as to bless them. The Father is called to be the priest of the
family; therefore, Dad should bless his children every night. Better yet, let
Mom and dad bless their children with Holy Water—an added and even more
powerful blessing! Even the devils have fear
the proper use of Holy Water!
PRIESTLY BLESSING. The day after my
ordination to the priesthood (May 25, 1986), I had the unique privilege of
having the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa sing for my first Mass in
our Roman Parish, Sant’ Elena. After the
Mass the nuns invited me to their convent which was less than a mile away from
our Seminary. Upon arriving the nuns opened the door and received me and my
family with great joy; there were probably close to 70 nuns. From the midst of
these nuns a smaller and elderly nun approached me. She knelt down for my
blessing. It was Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I wanted to kneel down for her
blessing. However, she insisted in kneeling down and begging humbly for my
blessing. With fear and trembling, I
imparted one of my first priestly blessings to the Blessed Mother Teresa of
Calcutta. Why did this great woman
remain kneeling? Faith! She had great
faith in the presence and the blessing of Jesus through the presence of the
priest. Indeed, even though we as priests are unworthy of such a sublime and
lofty calling, God still calls us. We
are in the words of Saint Augustine “alter christus”—another Christ, through
the Sacrament of Holy Orders imparted in the day of priestly ordination.
MASS BLESSING. This being said, we should bow our heads at
the end of the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and implore the
blessings of the Holy Trinity—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—with the
priest’s blessing to conclude Mass. Sunday Masses and Weddings, as well as
Funeral Masses the priest can actually impart a triple blessing over the people
of God! Let us always implore God’s blessings but especially in the context of the
greatest prayer—the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!
BENEDICTION. As mentioned in the introduction of this
article, another prime moment to receive the most special of blessings is in
the context of the Holy Hour. The Holy
Hour concludes with BENEDICTION. The
word “Benediction” comes from Latin and actually means blessing! The priest (or Deacon) lifts up the
monstrance over the people of God and then imparts the blessing of Jesus. This
is the same Jesus who lived 2000 years ago in Galilee. This is the same Jesus
who healed the blind, cured the sick, cleansed the lepers, gave strength to the
paralytics, and even raised up the dead (Lazarus, the daughter of Jairus, and
the son of the widow of Naim). When the
priest is imparting this very special blessing of Jesus Himself we should be
very attentive to praise Jesus, thank Jesus, beg Jesus pardon for our sins and
beg Him for the most abundant graces that flow from the depths of our hearts!
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES AND BLESSING. Once we acquire religious articles we should
have them blessed by a priest or a deacon as soon as possible. Rosaries,
Scapulars, Holy cards, medals, statues, religious paintings of Jesus, Mary and
the saints, crosses and water—all of these can be blessed by the priest. These
religious articles, because they have been blessed, should be treated with
respect. Carry them on your person-- your Scapular, Rosary, religious medal,
Holy Cards in your wallet. These religious articles are not good luck charms
but reminders of God’s holy presence in your daily walk, in your daily life. We
should do all we possibly can in our life to think about God, speak to God and
to love God and these are holy reminders!
Take advantage of them.
MASS AND HOLY EUCHARIST. The greatest gesture you can perform on earth
is to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and receive Holy Communion—the Body,
Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus, the “Holy of Holies”. Do this as often as possible to receive the
most abundant blessings! The greatest blessing is Jesus Himself!
YOUR LIFE: A BLESSING FOR
OTHERS. Then after you have received the
Lord Jesus into the very heart of your being, your soul, then leave Church with
the ardent desire of a true missionary. Leave the Church with the blessing of
God within your heart and bring God’s blessings wherever you go and to whomever
you meet and whoever God places in your path. God is the greatest blessing. God
has blessed you most abundantly. Now it is time for you to be a constant
blessing on the whole world. Blessed be you! Be a blessing for others!
10. OUR LADY AND
BLESSINGS. When Saint Elizabeth greeted
Our Lady in the Visitation, the baby in the womb of Elizabeth leaped for joy.
(Saint John the Baptist) Moved by the Holy Spirit, Saint Elizabeth addressed
Our Lady in these all-inspiring, sublime and immortal words: “Blessed
are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb…”(Lk. 1:42) Then Our Lady in her sublime canticle of
praise the Magnificat (Lk. 1:48) reechoed the word “blessing” by saying… “All
generations will call me blessed for the Almighty has done great things
for me and holy is His name.” Therefore,
if we truly want to learn the art of living a blessed life and the art of
blessing others, let us turn to the “Blessed among women”, Mary most
holy, and beg her for her prayers and blessings in this life and for all
eternity! May the Blessed Trinity be praised,
blessed and worshiped, through the intercession of Mary. AMEN!