By Fr. Roy Cimagala
AS priest, I, of course, receive frequent requests to bless different items—tokens of devotion like rosary beads, stampitas, or bikes and cars, and of course, houses. I always welcome these occasions because they can only show that people still have some traces of piety despite the growing secularization of our environment. It’s something to be fostered strongly, especially these days.
In these blessings, I always tell those concerned to be most thankful to God, since in the end, he is really the one who provided them with those items to be blessed. Even if they were the ones who made them, or spent for them, etc., in the end it is God who gave them those items. And the gratitude toward God should be expressed in deeds more than just in intentions and some nice words.
The idea behind the encouragement to be thankful is for those concerned to continue growing in their relationship with God. I always remind them that the blessing is not just some kind of social custom for them to be socially correct. It has a deep religious meaning that they should always keep in mind when using those items. It is meant to relate them and the things being blessed to God always.
If it’s some token of devotion to be blessed, I usually tell them to see God or whatever saint is involved in those tokens. They should feel invited to be with God or the saint whenever the token is used.
That is also why, given the common tendency to take religion for granted, I tell them to put many tokens of devotion around, so that the presence of God would not be lost to them and to the others with them. Those tokens should remind them that their life is and should always be a life with God, and not by themselves alone.
If it’s a bike or a car to be blessed, I remind them that those vehicles should strongly remind them that our life here on earth is like a journey toward a definitive destination, which is heaven with God.
I tell them that everytime they use those vehicles, they should be reminded of the underlying religious meaning and purpose of their use. They should not just get stuck with the technicalities and the worldly and temporal purposes of their use, like affording them mobility, convenience, comfort, etc.
In fact, they should devise a way where everytime they use those vehicles, they should not just get to some place, but should get the sensation that they are getting closer to heaven. To be sure, having this religious meaning in mind would not distract them from their driving. Rather, it would make them most careful.
And if it’s a house to be blessed, I tell them that their house should channel and reflect the definitive home we are supposed to have in eternity. I encourage them that aside from making their houses as beautiful as possible, they should make their houses a home where love in all its manifestations is nurtured.
There should be constant concern for one another, eagerness to help and to understand each other. The house should be turned into a home and a school where the basic education and formation of the those in it is carried out. In fact, the home should be made like a domestic Church where faith, hope and charity should be fostered.
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