DAY 30: BLESSINGS
The most common blessings you might recognize, the blessing before meals, the blessing of animals, the nuptial blessing. But there are blessings most Catholics are less familiar with: Blessings for bees, bedrooms, Christmas trees, farms, bread, cakes, mills, wine, wagons, poultry, salt, animal feed, orchards, pastures, bacon (that totally makes sense because, bacon.)
Catholics will bless just about anything. Anything that ministers to the needs of man may also be the object of a blessing. (Although Fr. Brent refused to bless a garden gnome once, so there is a line.)
According to Canon Law: Laypeople may preside at some blessings. The more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more its administration is reserved to the ordained ministry. Priests are the ordinary ministers of blessings and invested with a special power to bless people and objects. When a priest offers a blessing, the person or object takes on a sacred character.
Alright, but why in the world do we bless our bacon and homes? Everything, all of it, my eyes, my toes, my dog, my husband, my parents, my favorite water cup, they are all gifts from God. The blessing is the acknowledgment of God's goodness; for example, we offer a blessing for our food.
A blessing can also be an action to implore God's protection, such as the Pope will impart tomorrow. From the sagrato of St Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis will offer the Urbi et orbi Blessing, this blessing to Rome, and the world is usually only given on Christmas and Easter. All those who listen to the prayer ceremony live (11 a.m. MT) will have the possibility of gaining a plenary indulgence. You can learn more about how to gain the plenary indulgence below. #livinglent2