SURROUNDED BY BLESSINGS
by: Estela Padilla, Bukal ng Tipan, Philippines
- A 30-minute Advent prayer for individuals or groups in a house or office setting
- Prepare bible, 4 candles, matches
- From where you are seated, place a candle to the direction of the north, the south, east and west
Start with Taize chant: Bless the Lord, My Soul (or any appropriate song)
Advent reminds us how blessed we are because we are so loved by God! In this prayer, we want to reflect on the myriad of blessings in our life and to see how blessings surround us! We also would like to see how we can pass on this blessing to others.
Read the Gospel for the fourth week of Advent : Luke 1: 46-55
Read the text again in silence. Become aware of a word or a short phrase that is striking for you. Remain with this phrase for some moments of silence. Then use this phrase in a prayer.
Maybe we don’t realize it enough but we are so blessed like Mary! Actually we are surrounded by blessings! Let us reflect on the blessings in our life all around us.
Turn to the north. Picture in your mind a road starting from where you are seated to as far north as you can imagine. Think of all the places and people you meet on this north road. If you are in your house, maybe your daughter’s room is to your north, then your long-time neighbor, then your favorite bakery, then a park, then a mall, etc. If you are in your office, maybe to your north is the boss’s office, followed by the canteen, the building to your north is a school, beyond that is a lake, etc…
Spend a few moments of silence as you travel this north road in your imagination. Bring forth to your consciousness the people, the places, the events on this road. Reflect on how these people, places and events have blessed you. Immerse yourself in a sea of blessings and say a little prayer of thanksgiving for them.
After a few moments, go back to a person, some people, a street, a corner, an event on this north road that you feel need a prayer of blessing. Maybe your daughter is sick, or there was an accident last week in the street where you passed….Light the candle to your north as you pray for a person/s, or a particular event or place…
Sing a chant (Bless the Lord), then turn to the east and do the same until you finish all the four corners (north, east, south, west) of your space.
If you are doing this with a small group, you can have some sharing in between the stations, as well as shared prayer.
End with song…or you may want to write your own Magnificat!