A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort

At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships

So that you may live deep within your heart


May God bless you with anger

At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,

So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.


May God bless you with tears

To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,

So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and

To turn their pain into joy.


And may God bless you with enough foolishness

To believe that you can make a difference in the world,

So that you can do what others claim cannot be done

To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.



Amen

Comments

Rach said…
I'm reposting this on my blog... it's amazing.
Ashley N. said…
...wow...
aznsong50 said…
I love this one. It's so beautiful. Things that you would usually want to avoid--Discomfort, anger, tears, foolishness--Are suddenly given a purpose. It shows that everything truly does have its place.
liz said…
Wonderful. I needed that right now.
tehillim said…
amen. amen amen amen.
Kai Yim said…
wow. thank you
Lizzy said…
can't discuss this one. i have nothing to add. i love benedictions. they bless me. thanks so much.
Anonymous said…
I really needed to read this tonight. Thank you!
Elodie said…
Amen, indeed.
Shanrocks777 (Shannon) said…
The underlying blessing is *discernment* from all of these negative experiences, in order to have the will and desire to move past them to better things, and the empathy to inspire others to do the same, for having learned from these situations.

So beautiful..
Shannon said…
Oh, and I also want to add how striking the first lines are:

"May God bless you with discomfort

At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships"

And the reader is like, wait, this is not in line with your usual character..

Until you scroll down to the next couple of lines, it sounds vindictive, and then you get the gist of it.

Good stuff..What more can you say? I think we're all pretty happy with this post.
Lexi said…
This actually reminds me of a post I wrote a few weeks ago [great minds think alike? haha]...

It is the human condition to view misfortunes or suffering or pain as scourges and the absence of God. However, I feel they are some of the times when he is most present. It is ever-so-human to not realize through suffering that a lesson of great value is being learned. Most of the growing one does and knowledge that one obtains in one's life is AS A RESULT OF or during the 'hard times.'

Excellent.
Love this benediction.
Anonymous said…
beautiful & clever. where oh where do you find these things, Stephen? Please?
kelliemarie said…
this is amazing
life changing

thank you for putting this up
Scott Lee said…
A Francisan Benediction via 'Prayer' by Philip Yancy
AWretchLikeMe said…
Oh, I liked that. Thanks.
Sean said…
thanks!

very uplifting

sometimes you are in just one of those moods and when you read something like this is gets you up and back going.
Chris said…
This was needed this morning...back to work with office politics!!! Your post will keep me focused on the main things today!!
Thanks a million!
chris said…
wow, incredible... reading this was a great start to the morning. thank you.
guard my dreams said…
thank you so much for posting this! it lifted my spirits coming in from an especially hot practice, and its so beautiful! i will be reposting this one....
Ewa said…
mhm. true.
dana said…
lovely
shows that God uses everything for good, for his will
thank you and
amen.
themockingbyrd said…
*laugh*

All there is to say has been said, so don't let me hesitate to join the chorus: Amen.
miss lynn said…
Amen and WOW!!!! Both have already been said, but bear repeating. This is a great benediction to put on the door before I leave the house every morning. Thanks so much for sharing!
Chris said…
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." James 1:2-3.

"The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name." Acts 5:41

Here's Philip Yancey's take on considering our trials pure joy, from Where is God(a little long, but well worth the read):

By those words (rejoice and be glad), the apostles did not intend a grin-and bear-it or act-tough-like-nothing-happened attitude. No trace of those attitudes can be found in Christ's response to suffering or in Paul's...Nor is there any masochistic hint of enjoying the pain. "Rejoicing in suffering" does not mean Christians should act happy about tragedy and pain when they feel like crying. Such a view distorts honesty and true expression of feelings. Christianity is not phony. The Bible's spotlight is one the end result, the use God can make of suffering in our lives. Before He can produce that result, however, He first needs our commitment of trust in Him, and the process of giving Him that commitment can be described as rejoicing."
Moose said…
i like that... oh and thank you for everything...
Latrina said…
Beautiful. Just shows that everything, even what seems like the bad, all has a place and purpose in Life. I've always had that frame of mind and it was nice to read it, 'cause sometimes I seem to forget. :)
Dani said…
wow, i think u just made my day!
Janelle said…
I love that.
Raechel said…
Thank you. :)
ditto. i'm reposting this too. so many people have to see this.

:D really true.
laurafee said…
just what i needed....
Anonymous said…
Dude I have a picture of you and the band on a couch. How can I send it to you?
Joe Q said…
Beautiful post; thank you.
Gardenia said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabrielle said…
This sounds like a poem!!!
Love..!!!
~ELLE~
Rachel said…
I haven't before commented here...but I really have nothing to add to this beautiful post, as a devout Catholic, this has a special place in my heart...thank you...it says what I've longed to hear so wonderfully...

<3
Anonymous said…
thank you. this shall be reposted on myspace :)
-andrea
stephen,
this kinda contradicts another post u put up where u basically said that no one man can leave an everlasting mark on the world . . . and u made it sound like y try. but then u post this saying go for it ? ? ? confusion . . .

pls explain - Katie
breanna maria said…
this is great
just posted it on my youth group web site
gracias
Larsa said…
this reminds me of rob bell. and jon foreman. and Jesus.

definitely Jesus.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for sharing Stephen. I really enjoyed this prayer.

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