instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Sunday, November 30, 2003


Regarding the idea of household blessings, the question is asked, "Are there things that the laity can bless?"

My answer: Have you ever said, "God bless you," when someone sneezed? Have you ever prayed, "Bless us, o Lord, and these, Thy gifts...." when there was no priest present? Have you ever heard the words, "Bless the Lord at all times," or found yourself saying, "Blessed be God forever"?

You'll notice the first two examples aren't so much of a layman blessing someone or something as of a layman asking God to bless someone or something. It's only when it is God Who is being blessed that we do the blessing directly.

This suggests there are two meanings of "to bless": a "downward" act, in which God blesses His creatures; and an "upward" act, in which creatures bless their God.

Without taking anything away from the special nature of priestly blessings, anyone can ask God to bless His creatures. In fact, everyone should.