Yesterday, we lit the Advent candle of peace. It was a moment to reflect on our Prince of Peace, Jesus, who taught us to open our divided hearts toward a life of reconciliation. I realized late in the day that it was also the anniversary of the murder of John Lennon, another strong advocate for peace.
One of the ways we can create a life of peace is to give blessings each day.
Giving blessings is intertwined with gratitude, and when we are grateful for our life and all that we are given, our heart is united with the peace that God offers us.
“One who sows the seeds of blessings harvests blessings.” – Master Cheng Yen
Giving blessings can be as easy as taking a moment before your meal to give thanks for the food before you and for those who worked to make it possible for you to eat that meal, including those that prepared, cultivated or farmed it. You can do so out loud or silently; it is the blessing itself that is important. A blessing during a meal connects us back through the entire cycle of life, even to the plants and animals who were given up to you for your nourishment.
Another approach to take is to spend a few moments sitting quietly, blessings others as a prayer of love. Spend a minute or two in solitude, express your own thanks for the blessings in your life and then recite “I send blessings of love to —— for health, happiness and well-being” or something similar with the name of each person on your list. This is especially helpful if you are struggling in a relationship with someone, as the blessings you offer them can help with spiritual healing and perhaps a peaceful reconciliation.
Blessings and peace to you all!
Feel free to share your experience or your creative suggestions. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, share using the #24daysofgiving hashtag. Let’s spread some love and good cheer!
Did you miss a day?
Day 1: Give yourself 5 minutes
Day 2: Give someone your attention
Day 3: Give time to a worthy cause
Day 4: Give someone a helping hand
Day 5: Give a cup of coffee or tea
Day 6: Give 3 words of love
Day 7: Give a handwritten note
Day 8: Give hugs
#24daysofgiving is an Advent experiment in being called to come into being through the practices of love and compassion, while reflecting on the coming of Christ into the world.
(Image credit: helenoftheways)