Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Seven Ways to Count Your Blessings by Bridget Mary Meehan from A Promise of Presence by Bridget Mary Meehan and Regina Madonna Oliver


Unsplash: Carolyn V. 



Praised be the Creator of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has bestowed on us in Christ every spiritual blessing in the heavens!

Ephesians 1:3 (INT)



Meister Eckhart said: "If the only prayer you say your entire life is 'thank you,' that would suffice." I find my life full of

spiritual blessings for which I am grateful. In fact, when I have difficulty falling asleep at night, I simply count my blessings. It seems to work every time; before I know it, I am drifting peacefully into slumber land.


For example, I love to walk in the spring and fall. As I step out into the warm sunshine and cool breeze, I take a deep breath and give thanks for the beauty of nature all around me.


My eight-year-old niece, Katie, and my six-year-old nephew, Danny, often invite me to play with them when they visit our home. Joining them in games like hide-and-seek, kick ball, or Simon Says · draws out the "inner child" in me, and I am grateful for the oppor­tunity to live exuberantly in the present moment.


In my gratitude, I am sometimes reminded of the small child who complained of sleeping alone in the dark. Her mother tried to reassure her that there was no reason to be afraid because God was with her. "But Mommy," the child protested, "I need God with real skin on." I am blessed with spiritual companions in my life who are like Christ "with real skin on." I have several close friends and belong to three small communities of faith in which mutual respect and deep caring are almost as palpable as the air we breathe. Like Paul in the letter to the Ephesians, I praise God who in Christ has blessed me abundantly.


Do you know that you already have every spiritual blessing you need to live a confident and joyful life? All you have to do is look at your life, and you will discover more reasons then you can imagine to be grateful. You are blessed abundantly.  You are loved

totally as you are right now by Christ- with your unique gifts, your obvious flaws, your wonderful possibilities, and your hidden weaknesses. Perhaps the most wonderful blessing is that God loves you more than you can know or love yourself. Praise God that you are you. Relax and rejoice. Remember that every day can be like Thanksgiving Day, a day to count your blessings and give thanks

for amazing grace active in you life.



DAY  1

Look at a favorite family picture. Reflect on the faces of your loved ones, and give thanks for each relative. Remember a quality each person has/had, a deed, or a memory that you cherish. Conduct a spiritual conversation with them, expressing your gratitude. If possible, send each of them a message of appreciation today.


DAY 2

Before going to sleep tonight, count your blessings. Close your eyes and let your blessings flow gently into your consciousness  like soft, woolly lambs jumping over a fence into a beautiful flower-strewn meadow on a warm spring day.


DAY 3

Write a blessing prayer. Use the following as a prayer starter:


For hands  that have loved, especially: (name occasions your hands have been blessings to others or others' hands have been blessings to you.)

For ears that have heard your cry, especially: (name occasions you have listened to others or others have listened to you.)

For eyes that have seen roses and ladybugs and (name blessings

your eyes have seen or blessings your "seeing" has been for others).

For a heart that loves family, friends and community, especially

(name people you love and/or people who love you).


DAY 4

Pray these affirmations that remind you that you are a blessing, a unique gift of Divine Presence in the world.


I am a radiant reflection of Christ's love. I am in love with God's people.

I am compassionate, loving and kind. I am growing in love.

I am confident in Christ's strength within me. I am one with the universe.

I am a beautiful and gifted person. I am a miracle.

DAYS

Decide on some practical act of service you can do today to help others experience God's blessings in their lives. For example, consider calling a lonely or grieving person to offer comfort, tutoring a child, donating food or clothing to a shelter, visiting a nursing home, or volunteering at a hospital, school or prison.


DAY 6

Recall different times in your life when you felt blessed or called by God to be a blessing to another or others. As you remember  each situation, recall how you felt and acted. You may want to write down a word or phrase, ponder a picture of the occasion, or draw a symbol of the event. Make a thanksgiving collage, write your prayer of thanks, or offer thanks in whatever way appeals to you.


DAY 7

Pray this psalm of thanksgiving or create your own:


You've given me my heart's desire

and did not deny me the wish of my lips. You greeted me with lavish blessings,

and placed on my head a crown of pure gold. I asked you for life;

you gave me length of days forever and ever. Great is my glory in your victory;

you bestowed majesty and splendor upon mePsalm 21:2-6 (IP)



BMM


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