Pope Francis continued his teaching series on prayer this December 2, considering today the prayer of blessing — a response to the blessing that God gives us.
On the first pages of the Bible, there is a continual repetition of blessings. God blesses, but men give blessings as well … To the God who blesses we, too, respond by blessing – God has taught us how to bless and we must bless – through the prayer of praise, of adoration, of thanksgiving. The Catechism writes: “The prayer of blessing is man’s response to God’s gifts: because God blesses, the human heart can in return bless the One who is the source of every blessing” (n. 2626).
The Holy Father drew from this reflection one specific recommendation, regarding those who have the habit of cursing.
“We cannot but bless this God who blesses us,” the pope said, adding, “we must bless everyone in Him, all people, to bless God and to bless our brothers and sisters, to bless the world – and this is the root of Christian meekness, the ability of feeling blessed and the ability to bless.”
He said that if everyone did this, “wars would surely not exist.”
“This world needs blessings,” Francis said, “and we can give blessings and receive blessings. The Father loves us. The only thing that remains for us is the joy of blessing Him, and the joy of thanking Him, and of learning from Him not to curse, but to bless.”
And he added:
Here, just one word for the people who have the habit of cursing, people who always have a bad word, a curse, on their lips and in their hearts. Each one of us can think: Do I have this habit of cursing like this? And ask the Lord the grace to change this habit because we have a blessed heart and curses cannot come out of a heart that has been blessed. May the Lord teach us never to curse, but to bless.
Pope’s advice for parish workers: Don’t take your coffee with vinegar!