Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Start the New Year by Blessing Your Children

Many people are used to seeking blessings from priests which is a wonderful blessing to receive.  However, there are blessings that can be prayed by any person who has been baptized. The Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs us that "every baptized person is called to be a 'blessing,' and to bless" (no 1669; see Gn 12:2;Lk 6:28; Rom 12:14; 1 Pt 3:9).

In the Gospel of Luke the Lord tells us to "bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you" (Lk 6:28)

Months ago after Mass I was speaking with a wonderfully holy women who looks very much like Mother Teresa. She has a similar stature and bright joyful eyes.  She is 97 and shared with me that every night while she raised her children she blessed them as she put them to bed.  This was something she learned from her mother.  She said it was one of the fondest memories she has of her mother.  I loved this idea.  Earlier this week I stumbling upon a new section on the Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops website regarding just this practice.  Today, on the Feast of Mary Mother of God I was struck that the reading to be selected was a call to bless others (Numbers 6: 22-27).  It is a beautiful blessing that starting today I would like to begin saying to my children as they go off to bed each night.  

The LORD said to Moses:
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!

So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,
and I will bless them.”

For additional examples of blessings, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recommends a book called the Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers. 

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