Saturday, July 27, 2013


Saint Francis
-my meditation garden-

There has been a lot of talk about Pope Francis lately.  The other evening, as I sat in my meditation garden, I reflected on another "Francis" - the Saint from Assisi.  

Although he lived in the 13th century, Francis' sense of "relationship with all creation" was very 21st century; and very much like what the new scientists of our own day are saying, that everything and everyone in the universe is dynamically interconnected and woven together in a cosmic web of energy. 

Francis sang about Brother Sun and Sister Moon, Brothers Wind and Air, Sister Water, Brother Fire and Mother Earth - everything and everyone all teeming with divine life and energy, all connected, all interrelated. 

As I sat in my garden and reflected on Saint Francis, I thought about the many blessings I had pronounced over things and people when I was a parish priest. I blessed young people and old people, healthy people, dying people, and dead people. I blessed water and food, books and bells. I even blessed cars and boats. 

I always thought that my prayers of blessing were somehow bestowing something that wasn't yet present, that my blessings were somehow bequeathing holiness upon people and things. I have come to believe I had it all inside out and upside down. 

Everything and everyone is already holy; everything and everyone glows with energy and life and divine presence. A blessing merely sings the praises of the Holy Presence already existing, dynamically flowing in and through it all. Somehow I think Francis got that.

So I decided to practice some Franciscan blessings of my own. Throughout the day I pronounced a blessing upon anything and anyone that came my way - the good, the bad and the ugly. My blessings were not offered to bestow holiness but to recognize it. Everywhere I went and everything I did was an occasion for pronouncing a blessing.  I am sure some people thought I was just some silly man mumbling to himself, but I was actually blessing it all.

Here are but a few of the blessings I pronounced:  

I bless you brilliant rays of the rising sun.
I bless you tiny hummingbird, fluttering wings, sipping nectar.
I bless you heat that bakes, air that cools, bubbling fountain.
I bless you beautiful dogs, faithful companions, gentle eyes, furry faces, frisky play.
I bless you prickly cacti, wilderness trees, bushes flowering in desert sands.
I bless you towering stone mountain, you caverns and caves filled with angels and beasts.
I bless you my beloved spouse,  friends and family- I am you, you are me.
I bless you stranger whom I have never met - I am you, you are me.
I bless you cashier and waitress, clerk and gardener- so many kindnesses shown.
I bless you Facebook and Google, Twitter and Tumbler -weaving us together in a mystical web.
I bless you dark skies, glowing stars and glistening moon,
covering me through the night under the shadow of your wings. 

The entire cosmos is teeming with holy energy, beauty, divine life - and I am part of it. I bless it all! 

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