I have greatly appreciated a short prayer that I first saw several weeks ago, called A Franciscan Blessing.
It actually wishes for discomfort. It’s a bit like the paradox we see everywhere in our cushy Western societies, where people seek out experiences of fear, for their leisure. Bungy jumping is the classic example; or horror movies. Only people who live very comfortable lives need to try to get scared. In other cultures and situations, people have enough fear to deal with.
This prayer asks that God will disturb all our easy answers and provoke us into deeper and more engaged living.
A Franciscan Blessing
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial
relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. Amen.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection,starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. Amen.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.
the Blessing of God, who Creates, Redeems and Sanctifies, be upon you and all you love and pray for this day, and forever more. Amen.
This is a really challenging prayer. It invites a level of reality and depth that is possible only through engagement with each other and with the living Spirit, the one who creates, redeems and sustains.
We can’t do any of this alone. And we can’t do any of it without some real trust and hope, that there really is a God who is with us in this quest.
I find this blessing so much more evocative than the other more familiar forms of words, which I value and love, nonetheless. This one really calls me to something and promises me that I don’t and indeed can’t create this: I have to, but also I can, reach out for it—with you, and with God.