02_Life Is a Benediction

Once, when wallowing in suffering and complaining to God, “Why me?”, He answered me with, “Why not you?”

It was a sobering question that re-ordered my negative thinking toward thankfulness for all the terrible things I didn’t have that I could. That was when I realized it can always be worse, a reality I remind myself of every time something “bad” happens. 

The Jewish practice of praying the Eighteen Benedictions, or The Amidah, taught them that everything in life is ultimately a gift – undeserved and unmerited – from the great Benefactor, Who is gift Himself. Such a practice of constant thanksgiving centers one’s life on eternity and prevents the faith-killing entitlement that leads to futility, purposelessness, negativity, and finally hell. Because the truth is, everything is gift, and we don’t deserve any gift whatsoever. 

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LOVE the Word® is a Bible study method based on Mary’s own practice: lectio without the Latin. Get the book based on Sonja’s method in the right margin, How to Pray Like Mary.  

L | Listen (Receive the Word via audio or video.)

O | Observe (Connect the passage to your life and recent events.)

The familiar Mass prayer, “Blessed are You, Lord God of all creation, through Your goodness we have received this bread to offer…” is a traditional prayer of blessing over a meal. Do you say a blessing over your meals? Always? In public? What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about that?

V | Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)

Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word® journal. Or, get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.

E | Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)

Father in Heaven, Creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude. Thank you for all of the graces and blessings You have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal: our faith and religious heritage; our food and shelter; our health; the loves we have for one another, our families and friends. Dear Father, in Your infinite generosity, please grant us continued graces and blessings throughout the coming year. This we ask in the Name of Jesus, Your Son and our Savior, through Whom all blessing from You is possible. Amen. +

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What We Discussed | Show Notes

Previous episode on the Our Father


Minutes 00:00-12:00 –  Jewish prayers of thanksgiving, or blessing; The Amidah, or Eighteen Benedictions

Minutes 12:01-24:00 – life is all blessing

Minutes 24:01-36:00 – the biblical connections between gratitude and humility, ingratitude and futility and purposelessness

Minutes 36:01-48:00 – the biblical connection between gratitude and wisdom and rest


Click here for a transcript of the show.