Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Priestly Blessing

I trust Father Hollywood won't mind if I paste his belated reply to an earlier post here, as I find it most helpful, and something with which I heartily concur. Father H., I like the way you think:

"I realize this post is delinquent, I had meant to chime in earlier. A benefit of living in a heavily Roman Catholic area is that people seek out the blessins of the clergy. They "get" just what you're saying about the priestly blessing and the authority given to Christ's ministers.

"Strangers will come up to me and ask me to pray for them and bless them - even with my wife and son in tow (obviously, I'm not a Roman priest).

"This happens even more frequently when I'm in a cassock. To those who think the 'adiaphora' of clerical garb is useless, or even worse than that, negative - you need to put on a cassock and stroll around the neighborhood.

"Big guys with tattoos and little old ladies will come to you with pained looks on their faces and ask you to give them the blessing of the Lord Jesus - whom they know you represent and in Whose stead you stead.

"That's evangelism without a program, slogan, balloons, or even the letters 'TM' in fine print. "

Amen to that.

3 comments:

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Fritz:

I don't mind at all, to the contrary, I am honored.

At the risk of causing our computers to go into an infinite loop, I blogged your blog of my comment to your blog on my blog at:

http://fatherhollywood.blogspot.com/2006/08/gottesblog-priestly-blessing.html

I included a very sincere plug for Gottesdienst - which has become (according to Swedish media sources) the official publication of the LCMS. ;-)

Petersen said...

This has been my experience as well. I've entered ethnic shops and restaurants and been asked by the proprietor to bless him and it. Along others of whom I've heard, I've never gotten a free meal out of it :).

I've also been approached in public by pregnant women and young couples. They all ask: "Father, would you give us your blessing." Again, I've missed out on little old ladies and burly guys with tattoos.

FWIW, I always use the Apostolic blessing. They always thank me profusely and tell me it is the most beautiful thing they've ever heard. And I always walk away feeling a bit like I've spoken to an angel.

Lawrence said...

Amen.

Indeed.