Bless those who curse you, pray for the ones who mistreat you.
Three decades past,
I was blessed to be among fisherfolk
by the banks of Amazon.
Regularly, I found myself surrounded
by swarming clouds
of chattering children.
“Me dê uma benção! – Give me a blessing!”
they begged and beamed,
as they clambered all over me.
Putting palm to each holy head,
I extended the expected benediction:
“Abençoado! – Blessed be you!”
So frail in the face of so many challenges,
I wondered about their future
as I willed and worried and prayed for wellbeing.
Even after all the years,
I can recall their shining faces and joyful voices.
And echoing that benison, still I wonder what became of them.
That singular commandW. H. Auden
I do not understand,
Bless what there is for being,
Which has to be obeyed, for
What else am I made for … ?
In the end, how we respond
to the momentous challenges of this time
will determine who and what will endure.
When cursing, we careen down a slippery slope,
till, head over heart in tumbled-down rancor,
we are left with bruises that add ignominy to animosity.
But blessing is the fulcrum between blight and beauty,
since those who know their blessedness
bring benediction to our holy mess.
the sub-stance (under-being) of our experience
Choosing benediction – to speak well –
cannot make any one or thing
any more holy than it already is.
In blessing we buff for shining display
what is already sacred,
and somehow this changes everything.
Such blessing power, given us all,
presents us with the luminous authority
to re-consecrate whatsoever has been desecrated.
Blessed the clear-hearted who see the Holy One (in everyone and everything).Matthew 5:8
In unsettled times,
Jesus preaches scandalous subversion
that goes against the grain of meritocracy.
Unmasking myopia, with penetrating perspective,
he presents a corrective
to sharpen our seeing and brighten our holy being.
Because you are simple, humble and mourning,
peace-loving, justice-hungry, lost or forsaken;
you are welcome; you are already holy; you are blessed.
Blessed too are you who are targeted
because you stand,
sullied with the exploited of the earth.
Blessing simply gives voice
to our deepest motivation.
And we become beatitudes
by welcoming these benedictions
and extending them broadly.
Beneath that look
behind those eyes
benevolence in abundance lies.
Have you beheld
the blessed gaze
that pierces pain-filled, hateful haze?
To gild each hurt and hope in lifejoe
such power to you is given,
dissolving loss back into love with that gracious glare of heaven.
May you be moved
to transfigure the substance of daily experience
by blessing whatever graces your gaze.
So fragile the petal the earth, as fragile as love.Mira
As you cast a caring eye across your life-scape,
squint if you must to see love’s golden hue
reflected in strangers and friends and enemies too.
Choose to burnish the good
and put a shine
on these tarnished times.
Just to be is blessing. Just to live is holy.Abraham Joshua Heschel
So, while there is breath within
and a sparkle in your eye,
waste not this fleeting chance
to let the weary world know
just how much in love with life you are,
just how blessed it is to be here together with You.