The Power of Blessing
The love and affection of the angels be to you,
The love and affection of the saints be to you,
The love and affection of heaven be to you,
To guard and cherish you.
May God shield you on every steep,
May Christ aid you on every path,
May Spirit fill you on every slope,
On hill and on plain.
May the king shield you in the valleys,
May Christ aid you on the mountains,
May Spirit bathe you on the slopes,
In hollow, on hill, on plain,
Mountain, valley and plain.
— from the Carmina Gadelica (484–577)*
There is real power in blessing one another, and it’s a power we too often fail to harness. In a world that can weary and batter the soul, a blessing offered in love and truth restores and revives the spirit.
A colleague in ministry posted on Facebook how her young daughter came to her after a particularly difficult day and offered her a blessing. This intuitive child understood the power of blessing her mother, a simple yet profound act that this mother and pastor will ponder in her heart for years to come even though her daughter may remember it only from her mother’s recounting of the story.
When was the last time you offered someone a blessing? When was the last time you received one from someone other than a pastor, priest, or rabbi?
The world would be a far better place if we would reclaim the art of blessing one another. Blessing transcends the boundaries and forges connections. Whether you actively practice a life of faith or whether you simply believe in the inherent goodness of creation and humankind, try adding one simple blessing a day, even if it is only one whispered under your breath–a silent wish that someone will have a good day, a good life, and all good things. Bless the one who cuts you off in traffic. Bless the emergency responders when you hear the fire alarm or see the flashing lights. Bless your life’s partner and your children. Bless your parents. Bless. Bless. Bless. You cannot go wrong wishing good on another.
*From Wikipedia: The Carmina Gadelica is a collection of prayers, hymns, charms, incantations, blessings, runes, and other literary-folkloric poems and songs collected and translated by amateur folklorist Alexander Carmichael (1832–1912) in the Gaelic-speaking regions of Scotland between 1855 and 1910. (Thanks to Daniel Clendenin of Journey with Jesus for posting this lovely poem/blessing!)