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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

What Are Your Blessings?...

This past summer, my kids and I decided to grow a garden. We planned on growing pumpkins, zucchini, corn, sunflowers and carrots—planned being the key word. By the end of August, our garden consisted of a few carrots, some dead zucchini and pumpkin plants, no corn and some gigantic sunflowers.

The carrots never quite made it to maturity because the kids kept feeding them to their rabbits. I forgot to plant the corn at the appropriate time. And the other plants fell victim to a heat wave and my brother-in-law’s puppy.

Granted, the sunflowers were over six feet tall and beautiful but, from my perspective, the garden was a failure. Instead of reveling in the fun my kids and I had working on the garden and what it did produce, I lamented my dead plants.

If you asked my kids, though, they would have called our garden a rousing success. They had grown something that fed their rabbits almost every day—although I can’t see how the rabbits enjoyed the carrots much, given their size. And the kids giggled each time they walked beneath the sunflowers that towered over them.

Blessings are a lot like my garden, I think. We often tend not to see them, even when they are right in front of us.

Now I know that my life is very blessed—a loving husband, three healthy children, my health and many other things. But to be honest, I can’t remember the last time I stopped and really took a moment to appreciate all the blessings in my life. In fact, probably the only time I do is when something tragic or unfortunate reminds me to do so.

Our faith grants us an abundance of blessings. We are surrounded by the love of Christ, offered forgiveness when we have done wrong, invited to receive the Body of Christ each week at Mass, welcomed and supported by members of our faith community and many others. The question is, though, do we take the time to recognize and rejoice in those blessings?

 

Photo by Jeanne Hatch

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."