what are blessings?
"How blest are..." —Matthew 5:3
The Beatitudes are eight circumstances in which we receive exceptional blessings. The Beatitudes are keys to living a life of blessing and of being a blessing (see Gn 12:2). Consequently, we may surmise that people would strongly desire to live the Beatitudes. Yet this is not the case.
Part of the problem is that few people know how great blessings are, because they do not understand well the meaning of blessings. Many people think that blessings are prayers for good things to happen. No, blessings are not prayers from us to God, but blessings are from God to and through us. Therefore, we are to bless only those whom we have been authorized by God to bless at the time and circumstances God has authorized. As we sing in the hymn, "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow," all blessings come from God. Moreover, blessings are from God speaking. Therefore, blessings are creations by God, for when God speaks He creates (see Gn 1:3ff).
So blessings (beatitudes) are very important. The blessings at the end of Mass and in the other sacraments have the potential to re-create the world. Parents deprive their children of new life if they would fail to bless them daily. For those who understand blessing, benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is recognized as God creating.
Blessings are creations of God. Live the Beatitudes.
Prayer: Father, teach me the basics of life in You.
Promise: "Ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the stream." —1 Kgs 17:6
Praise: Rose blessed her children every evening and they, in turn, became blessings to their churches and families.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Beatitudes, or our tape on audio AV 44-3 or video V-44.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert A. Stricker, December 13, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 2003