BLESSING: Ancient Blessings by Pierre Pradervand

February 25, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing The ancient spiritual teachers understood the extraordinary power of thoughts – both good or bad – that we have only started to rediscover.  Thought can very literally give life or kill.  Thus the book of Exodus 21:17 condemns to death he who has cursed his parents.  And in the struggle between Jacob and the angel at Peniel in Genesis 32, Jacob refuses to let go of the angel before the angel blesses him.  (This story is to be interpreted in its symbolic sense as the new birth of Jacob, who becomes aware of his spiritual identity; hence his change of name, which indicates his awareness of his divine nature.) That a practice such as blessing could be so universally widespread in almost all cultures, [...]

BLESSING: A History Of Blessing by Pierre Pradervand

February 18, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. (Deuteronomy 28:6) Blessing is a millennial art.  In the religious context, blessings have existed throughout centuries across almost all cultures.  Lay forms of blessings also permeate our culture in the form of housewarming parties, the European custom of mounting an evergreen on the gable of a new house once the roof has been erected, the rice thrown on newlyweds, and so on.  In some regions of the Swiss Alps, shepherds today sing out a blessing through a very primitive kind of wooden megaphone to the four cardinal directions.  North American Indians have tribal blessings for numerous occasions. Caitlín [...]

BLESSING: Everyday Blessing by Pierre Pradervand

February 11, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing Many spiritual teachings and numerous mystics stress the importance for the spiritual disciple to develop a constant awareness of the divine.  The Vietnamese Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh suggests this be done by striving to live in the present.  One of the great classics of Christian mysticism, The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence, a seventeenth-century Cistercian French monk who worked in the monastery kitchen, stresses this practice as a privileged way of developing such awareness.  Such practices may not be excessively difficult in an ashram in the Himalayas, a monastery in Montana, or with fellow pilgrims during the Muslim hajj to Mecca – or even during your morning [...]

BLESSING: The Gentle Art Of Blessing (Part 2) by Pierre Pradervand

February 4, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing In the following months, I shared this short text with friends in different countries.  As months turned into years, I started receiving letters and phone calls from all around the world, mostly from people I had never met. A mother in a small town in Burkina Faso, West Africa, wrote, “As a result of studying your text, we bless those who harm us and pray for them.”  Mahmooudou, a man who works at the grassroots with farmers in the Mopti region of Mali, a western neighbor of Burkina Faso, shared his experience of blessing in a moving letter: I have started to turn blessing into an everyday experience, in all situations.  It has become part of my very marrow.  And each day, it fills me more and [...]

BLESSING: The Gentle Art Of Blessing (Part 1) by Pierre Pradervand

January 28, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing One day, about seven months after starting the practice of blessing, I was preparing a talk, “Healing the World,” for an international youth meeting in Zürich, Switzerland, when suddenly I was overwhelmed by an inspiration to record the practice of blessing that I had been living.  I felt literally like a scribe under dictation, so much so that my hand had difficulty keeping up with the ideas that flowed into my mind.  What follows is the result of that inspiration, which describes blessing as a spiritual practice and offers guidelines for incorporating the art into your everyday life. On awakening, bless this day, for it is already full of unseen good which your blessings will call forth, for to [...]

BLESSING: Blessings Returned by Pierre Pradervand

January 21, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing Thanks to this gentle art, I started having rather amazing experiences.  One such incident occurred when in my position as a volunteer in a world campaign against hunger, I organized a benefit concert on World Food Day (October 16), the proceeds of which were to be sent to several peasant-farmer groups in southern Senegal.  An Afro-Caribbean orchestra managed by a friend of mine was offering its services free of charge for the concert, which had been advertised both on the radio and in local newspapers.  The technician of the large college hall where the concert was to be held showed, for no apparent reason, immense hostility toward the project from the start.  He wanted nothing to do with it.  We even [...]

BLESSING: How It All Started by Pierre Pradervand

January 14, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing Bless them that curse you. (Matthew 5:44) At one point in my career, I was employed in the field of international development, working in the Swiss school system with both students and teachers.  During this time I had to make one of the most difficult decisions in my career: keep my job but accept a situation that violated the most elementary professional ethics, or quit.  (I learned later that the people who put me in this situation were actively banking on my leaving!) So, rather than commit moral hara-kiri, I quit. In the following weeks, I developed a deep-seated and all-consuming resentment such as I had never experienced before against the people who had put me in this impossible situation.  When I [...]

BLESSING: The Gentle Art Of Blessing, Introduction by Pierre Pradervand

January 7, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing Blessing has been a spiritual practice of humankind since time immemorial.  The ritualized form of blessing that usually concludes many Christian religious ceremonies is only one of the many forms of blessing found across almost all cultures.  But far from being simply a ritual that punctuates religious ceremonies, the practice of blessing has the power to enrich your life in ways you never dreamed possible, ways that I have experienced personally. This book is born of a spiritual experience that profoundly marked my life and enabled me to discover the deep meaning of the act of blessing.  Blessing rests on spiritual laws that each of us can discover so that we may live better and more fully.  My own [...]

POETRY: A Blessing by James Wright

August 10, 2018

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota, Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass. And the eyes of those two Indian ponies Darken with kindness. They have come gladly out of the willows To welcome my friend and me. We step over the barbed wire into the pasture Where they have been grazing all day, alone. They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness That we have come. They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other. There is no loneliness like theirs. At home once more, They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness. I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms, For she has walked over to me And nuzzled my left hand. She is black and white, Her mane falls wild on her forehead, And the light breeze [...]

PRAYER: Blessing Of Seeds And Rain

April 22, 2018

From: Catholic Rural Life It is not far-fetched to say that our health, our very lives, depend on the sprouting of seeds. The planting of seeds and nurturing through harvest, we receive God’s choicest blessings when we break from our labors and enjoy a simple meal. Saving some of the new seeds allows us to continue this miraculous cycle of nature. Besides planting in the good earth, seeds cannot grow without fresh water. The cycle of rain blesses us, and water stored in the ground is our true treasure. Let us seek God’s guidance in finding ways to better utilize seeds and water so that farming can become more sustainable for all who find their vocation on the land. Opening Prayer God, who created everything and everyone, we ask you to [...]

PRAYER: Celtic Blessing — Lord Of My Heart

September 25, 2017

Source unknown Lord of my heart, give me vision to inspire me, that, working or resting, I may always think of you. Lord of my heart, give me light to guide me, that, at home or abroad, I may always walk in your way. Lord of my heart, give me wisdom to direct me, that, thinking or acting, I may always discern right from wrong. Lord of my heart, give me courage to strengthen me, that, amongst friends or enemies, I may always proclaim your justice. Lord of my heart, give me trust to console me, that hungry or well-fed, I may always rely on your mercy. Lord of my heart, save me from empty praise, that I may always boast of you. Lord of my heart, save me from worldly wealth, that I may always look to the riches of Heaven. Lord of my heart, [...]

BLESSING: Blessing To Prepare For Pentecost, by Peter John Cameron

June 3, 2017

Word of God To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. (1 Corinthians 12:7) Blessing of the Manifestation of the Holy Spirit Before the Holy Spirit came, the humanity of Christ, to which human affection clung, needed to be taken away from before the eyes of the disciples.  We were not able to receive both Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and neither could we endure the presence of both. (Saint Augustine) Come, Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, finding us in a state of deformity, restores our original beauty and fills us with his grace, leaving no room for anything unworthy of his love. (Didymus of Alexandria) Come, Holy Spirit. The presence of the gift of the Holy Spirit is the fuller the greater a person’s [...]

BLESSING: The Blessings Of God’s Seasons, by Helen Steiner Rice

May 23, 2017

From: A Collection of Blessings We know we must pass through the seasons God sends, Content in the knowledge that everything ends, And, oh, what a blessing to know there are reasons And to find that our souls must, too, have their seasons— Bounteous seasons and barren ones, too, Times for rejoicing and times to be blue— But meeting these seasons of dark desolation With the strength that is born of anticipation Comes from knowing that every season of sadness Will surely be followed by a springtime of [...]

BLESSING: Unnameable God, by Joyce Rupp

May 19, 2017

From: Prayer Seeds Unnameable God, I feel you with me at every moment. You are my food, my drink, my sunlight, and the air I breath. (Psalm 16; Stephen Mitchell) with each refreshing rain each slant of sunshine each beam of moonlight each whisper of wind in every spiraling thought every turning of the heart every spoken and written word every action large and small you stead, you lead you encourage, you guide you embrace, you never let go one with my soul, one with my life one with me in the first breath one with me in the last you know me now you will know me always and forever I remember I [...]

BLESSING: Paradox Blessing

May 18, 2017

From Celtic Daily Prayer, Book Two May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, superficial relationships, so that you will live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you will work for justice, equity, and peace. May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war so that you will reach out your hand to comfort them and change their pain to joy. And may God bless you with the foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world, so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be [...]

BLESSING: A Blessing Prayer For A Journey, by Edward Hays

May 16, 2017

From: Pray All Ways Blessed are You, Lord, my God, for You have created a wide and wonderful world in which I may travel. Be my ever-near companion, O Holy Guide of Travelers, each time that I journey, and spread the road before me with beauty and adventure. May all the highways ahead of me be free of harm and evil. May I be accompanied by Your holy spirits, Your angelic messengers as were the holy ones of days past. On each trip may I take with me, as part of my traveling equipment, a heart wrapped in wonder with which to rejoice in all that I shall meet. Along with the clothing of wonder, may I have room in my luggage for a mystic map by which I can find the invisible meanings of the events of this journey— of possible disappointments [...]

BLESSING: The Blessing Of The Trinity (Celtic)

May 15, 2017

From Daily Readings from Prayers & Praises in the Celtic Tradition In name of Father, In name of Son, In name of Spirit, Three in One: Father cherish me, Son cherish me, Spirit cherish me, Three all-kindly. God make me holy, Christ make me holy, Spirit make me holy, Three all-holy. Three aid my hope, Three aid my love, Three aid mine eye, And my knee from stumbling, My knee from [...]

BLESSING: This Day We Say Grateful, by Jan Richardson

May 12, 2017

From: The Painted Prayerbook It is a strange thing to be so bound and so released all in the same moment, to feel the heart open wide and wider still even as it turns to take its leave. On this day, let us say this is simply the way love moves in its ceaseless spiraling, turning us toward one another, then sending us into what waits for us with arms open wide to us in welcome and in hope. On this day, in this place where you have poured yourself out, where you have been emptied and filled and emptied again, may you be aware more than ever of what your heart has opened to here, what it has tended and welcomed here, where it has broken in love and in grief, where it has given and received blessing in the unfathomable mystery that moves us, [...]

BLESSING: Blessing Prayer For Healing, by Joyce Rupp

May 8, 2017

May you desire to be healed. May what is wounded in your life be restored to good health. May you be receptive to the ways in which healing needs to happen. May you take good care of yourself. May you extend compassion to all that hurts within your body, mind, and spirit. May you be patient with the time it takes to heal. May you be aware of the wonders of your body, mind, and spirit and their ability in returning you to good health. May you be open to receive from those who extend kindness, care, and compassion to you. May you rest peacefully under the sheltering wings of divine love, trusting in this gracious presence. May you find little moments of beauty and joy to sustain you. May you keep hope in your heart. [...]

BLESSING: Blessing That Does Not End, by Jan Richardson

May 1, 2017

From The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief From the moment it first laid eyes on you, this blessing loved you. This blessing knew you from the start. It cannot explain how. It just knows that the first time it sat down beside you, it entered into a conversation that had already been going on forever. Believe this conversation has not stopped. Believe this love still lives— the love that crossed an impossible distance to reach you, to find you, to take your face into its hands and bless you. Believe this does not end— that the gesture, once enacted, endures. Believe this love goes on— that it still takes your face into its hands, that it presses its forehead to yours as it speaks to you in undying words, that it [...]

BLESSING: Blessing Prayer For Mother’s Day by Edward Hays

April 28, 2017

From Prayers for the Domestic Church God of Love, listen to this prayer. God of Holy People, of Sarah, Ruth, and Rebekah; God of holy Elizabeth, mother of John, of Holy Mary, Mother of Jesus, bend down Your ear to this request and bless the mother of our family. Bless her with the strength of Your spirit, she who has taught her children how to stand and walk. Bless her with the melody of Your love, she who has shared how to speak, how to sing and how to pray to You. Bless her with a place at Your eternal dinner table, she who has fed and nurtured the life that was formed within her while still helpless but embraced in her love. Bless her today, now, in this lifetime, with good things, with health. Bless her with joy, love, laughter, and [...]

BLESSING: 40 Powerful Blessings To Pray Over Your Children, by Debbie McDaniel

April 27, 2017

From Dear God, We praise you for your love and faithfulness. We thank you for your protection and care over our families. Thank you for giving us the power to love well, and the wisdom to lead and teach our children. We know you are for us. We know that you will fight for our families today. You are the Redeemer, the Restorer, and the Friend. We believe you have only good in store for us. We confess, some days, parenting is tough. Many days we can feel anxious or overwhelmed. We ask that you would make us more like you, more aware of your constant presence in our lives. Help us to release our children to you, so that you are free to fully accomplish all that you desire, in them, through them. Please fill our families with [...]

BLESSING: My Prayer, by Helen Steiner Rice

April 25, 2017

From A Collection of Blessings Bless me, Heavenly Father— Forgive my erring ways. Grant me strength to serve thee; Put purpose in my days. Give me understanding, Enough to make me kind, So I may judge all people With my heart and not my mind. Teach me to be patient in everything I do, Content to trust your wisdom And to follow after you. Help me when I falter, and hear me when I pray, And receive me in thy kingdom To dwell with thee [...]

BLESSING: Traditional Celtic Blessing, adapted by Ray Simpson

April 24, 2017

From A Forgiving Heart This soul did little good to me, O Lord, but this soul was yours. So to this soul I say: I bless the day you were born. I bless your growing up. I bless you, even in your dark deeds. And I bless you, soul, at your end. Travel to the God who transforms. Travel to the Arms so wide. Travel to the Spirit all [...]

BLESSING: What Fire Comes To Sing In You, by Jan Richardson

April 20, 2017

From: The Cure for Sorrow This blessing had big ideas about what it wanted to say, what it wanted you to know, to see. This blessing wanted to open your eyes to the joy that lives in such strange company with sorrow— wanted to make sure to tell you, lest you forget, that no matter how long it seems absent, no matter how quiet it becomes, joy has never been far from you, holding a space of celebration, watching for you, humming as it keeps vigil. But now that it comes time to speak it— comes time to lay these words on your brow, your beating heart— all this blessing can think to say is Look— your life a candle, this day a match. Strike it and see what blazes, what fire comes to sing in [...]

BLESSING: Blessings, by J. Janda

April 18, 2017

From The Embrace Blessed be the shy blessed be the gentle blessed be the meek blessed be the mild blessed be the courteous blessed be the reverent blessed be the humble for theirs is the kingdom of heaven blessed be the scorned blessed be the rejected blessed be the outcast blessed be the mocked for all illusions as nightmares must pass but what shall remain is each soul’s light flashing forth from the Father of Light ringed in constellations of light now and forever [...]

BLESSING: Blessing Of The Resurrection, by Peter John Cameron

April 17, 2017

From: Blessing Prayers Word of God Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in Heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)  Litany of Resurrection Graces Lord Jesus, by your Resurrection you have reconciled all people to God.  Risen Savior, stay with me. Lord Jesus, when you rose from the dead you blessed us with the Easter gift of peace.  Risen Savior, stay with me. Lord Jesus, by your rising you restored us to friendship with the [...]