We had a very special time on Sunday morning – not least due to seeing Jo after the traumatic premature arrival of Esme (along with Simon and Evie) and Suzi with Polly (our first chace to congratulate Poll onher engagement!
We used our litany of thanksgiving to start. Julie shared some words from Richard Rohr that were terrific and Grayden shared a story of 3 folk who had been real blessings to him on his last day of Chemo and then some words of blessing and about blessings. Here are the words given out for us to keep and use:
Being part of it all
Before conversion, we tend to think that God is out there. After transformation, God is not out there and we don’t look at reality. We look from reality. We’re in the middle of it now; we’re a part of it. This whole thing is what I call the mystery of participation. Paul is obsessed by the idea that we’re all already participating in something. I’m not writing the story by myself. I’m a character inside of a story that is being written in cooperation with God and the rest of humanity. This changes everything about how we see our lives. If we’re writing the story on our own, we think we’ve got to write it right. We’ve got to be clever, we’ve got to figure it out. If anything goes wrong, we’ve only got ourselves to blame. That’s a terrible way to live, even though a high degree of Christians do. And I would call that bad news.
The good news is a completely different experience of life. A participatory theology says, “I am being used, I am actively being chosen, I am being led.” It is not about joining a new denomination or having an ecstatic moment. After authentic conversion, you know that your life is not about you; you are about life! You’re an instance in this agony and ecstasy of God that is already happening inside you, and all you can do is say yes to it. That’s all. That’s conversion and it changes everything.
This idea of participating in the goodness and continual unfolding of God’s creation reminds me of the prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi that begins, “Make me a channel (or instrument) of your peace.” I remember being so delighted when I learned my last name, “Rohr,” is the German word for “conduit” or “pipe”! As I’ve often said, I’m just a mouth in the Body of Christ. That’s my only gift. Before talks I try to pray that God will get me out of the way so God’s message will get through.
Looking back on my life, I can see that God did everything. God even used my mistakes to bring me to God and God’s wisdom to others! I hope this week will inspire you to look at what has happened when you also said yes to participating as God’s instrument in the world.
I arise today:
Blessed by all things,
Delight of eyes,
Embrace of love,
Intimacy of touch,
Wonder of creation,
Nourishment of Earth,
Miracle of life,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Presence of Christ.
May I live this day:
Compassionate of heart,
Gracious in word,
Courageous in thought,
Generous in love.
How can we bless?
In Celtic tradition blessings were given at rites of passage such as at the birth of a child, a journey, marriage, new home, a special calling, death and bereavement.
The Bible teaches us that we are blessed not just so that we can feel good, not just so we can be happy and comfortable, but so that we can bless others. The first law of blessing is that it must flow to other people.
Some thoughts on blessing from John O’Dononhue.
- There is a quiet light that shines in every heart; it draws no attention to itself. It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, and our hearts to love life. This inner light is what enables us to recognise and receive our very presence here as blessing.
- The gift of the world is our first blessing. Blessing invokes a sense of warmth and protection, though suffering befalls us, it can never quench that inner light.
- Blessing is invocation, a calling forth. In the invocation of blessing the ’may’ is the spring through which the Spirit is invoked, the Spirit is the presence behind every blessing.
- Each of us can bless. When we bless it changes the very atmosphere.
- Always bless in the name of Christ. May we all receive blessing upon blessing. And may we realise our power to bless and encourage each other.
May the nourishment of the Earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the presence of Christ be yours.
And so may a gentle breeze work these words of love around you,
An invisible cloak to mind your life.
A Blessing for Life.
May you arise every morning
Knowing God’s peace embracing you,
Feeling the Spirit strengthening you,
Hearing his whisper encouraging you.
In all you do
And in all you say
may your life
this day and all days
reflect the beauty of Christ.