May God Bless Us All . . . with Discomfort, Anger, Tears, and Foolishness





This is not by any means what we normally think of when asking God to bless us.  Maybe when asking God to “bless” our enemies or oppressors, but not when asking him to bless our family and friends.  (And certainly not ourselves!)

How would this fly in the real world?—“Hello, Neighbor, may God bless you and your family with discomfort, anger, tears, and foolishness on this fine day and on many many of the days of your life.”

Who in their right mind would want to be blessed with discomfort, anger, tears, foolishness?

We would much rather be blessed with peace, comfort, prosperity, and happiness.  In fact, this is likely what the vast majority of we humans ask for.  The Joel Osteen positive-thinking prosperity-Christianity sells very well.

But if we really take this whole Christianity thing (or Islam or Judaism) seriously, if we really believe in God, in some version of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, then while we are here on earth above ground alive we are to be God’s hands and feet.  That much is pretty clear.  At least some portion of our time alive (and likely more—likely *much* more—time than we would prefer to think) is to be spent helping those less fortunate, those who are suffering.


Christ has no body now on earth but yours,

No hands but yours,

No feet but yours,

Yours are the eyes through which is to look out

Christ’s compassion to the world

Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good;

Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.


Saint Teresa of Avila


We are not here for ourselves and our own gratification and for crossing item after item off our bucket list (unless our bucket list includes a lot of charitable projects and endeavors—i.e., starting an orphanage in Calcutta, et cetera).



May God bless you with discontent with easy answers, half-truths, superficial relationships, so that you will live from deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, abuse, and exploitation of people, so that you will work for justice, equality, and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you will reach out your hand to comfort them and to change their pain to joy.

May God bless you with the foolishness to think you can make a difference in this world, so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be done.

(This blessing, often called a “Franciscan Blessing,” apparently was written by Benedictine Sister Ruth Fox of Sacred Heart Monastery in Richardton, ND about 25 years ago [1985].)

About John

I am a married, 46-year old, Midwesterner, with four children. My primary interest is in leading a very examined and decent and Loving life; my interests that are related to this and that feed into this include (and are not limited to) -- psychology, philosophy, poetry, critical thinking, photography, soccer, tennis, chess, bridge.
This entry was posted in Community, Conscience, Courage, Critical Thinking, Mother Teresa, Personal Growth, Ruth Fox, Saint Teresa of Avila, Spiritual Growth, The Examined Life, Truth, Waking Up, What is Love? and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to May God Bless Us All . . . with Discomfort, Anger, Tears, and Foolishness

  1. This is seriously beautiful!

  2. Do you mind if I reblog this on

  3. Reblogged this on Pondering Spawned and commented:
    I think this is really poignant! Be sure to give John’s blog a visit, he has a lot to say.

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