Prayer for a Year of Blessings …

Sometimes I need
only to stand
wherever I am
to be blessed.
― Mary Oliver from “It Was Early” in Evidence

May this [year]
be a [year] of blessings:
blessings of goodness,
blessings of joy,
peace and kindness,
friendship and love,
creativity, strength,
serenity,
fulfilling work
and dignity,
satisfaction, success,
and sustenance,
physical health
and radiance.

May truth and justice
guide our acts,
and compassion
temper our lives
that we may blossom
as we age
and become
our sweetest selves.
May it be so.”
— Marcia Falk adapted from A Book of Blessings – modified to use “year” instead of “month” (as per original text)

Blessing is a way of acknowledging that the God who created us goes on lavishing life upon us all our days.
— Joan Chittister from Listen with the Heart

Blessing the Boats (at St. Mary’s)

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that
— Lucille Clifton from Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems

Power of Blessing

We bless the life around us far more than we realize. Many simple, ordinary things that we do can affect those around us in profound ways: the unexpected phone call, the brief touch, the willingness to listen generously, the warm smile or wink of recognition. We can even bless total strangers and be blessed by them. Big messages come in small packages. All it may take to restore someone’s trust in life may be returning a lost earring or a dropped glove.

A woman once told me that she did not feel the need to reach out to those around her because she prayed every day. Surely, this was enough. But a prayer is about our relationship to God; a blessing is about our relationship to the spark of God in one another. God may not need our attention as badly as the person next to us on the bus or behind us on line in the supermarket. Everyone in the world matters, and so do their blessings. When we bless others, we offer them refuge from an indifferent world.

The capacity to bless life is in everybody.
— Rachel Naomi Remen adapted from Power of Blessing

Heart of a Blessing

At heart, giving a blessing is really quite simple. We innately know how to do it, precisely because it comes from the heart, from a sense of caring and helpfulness. Every time you create safety and reassurance where before there was fear, you are giving a blessing. Every time you perform an act of kindness, providing money where there was poverty, shelter where there was vulnerability, food where there was hunger, love where there was loneliness, comfort and encouragement where there was despair and depression, you are being a blessing. There is no special technique other than having an open, generous heart and a loving, aware mind. You don’t have to possess any particular gift in order to embody goodwill or to be kind and helpful.  In fact, being a source of blessing is a natural human attribute. It’s an expression of those impulses we have to create community and to support life.
— David Spangler from Blessing: The Art and the Practice

To bless a thing is to remind ourselves that this very object is one of God’s gifts given to bring us to wholeness of life. Once we understand that, we will also realize that it is the way we respond to things in life that makes us holy.
— Joan Chittister from Listen with the Heart

See Also:

Books:

To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

Prayers for Healing: 365 Blessings, Poems, & Meditations from Around the World

Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

The Circle Of Life: The Heart’s Journey Through The Seasons

dawn

(photo credit)