Mgr Paul Grogan

Mgr Paul Grogan
Mgr Paul Grogan

Monday, 16 January 2012

Blessing of an engaged couple

One of the most useful books I possess as a priest is the "Book of Blessings." When I was in parish ministry I used it for blessing families in their homes during Eastertide. At Leeds Trinity I've adapted it: now I bless students' rooms at the beginning of the academic year. I once blessed a couple of large accommodation blocks at Wetherby Young Offenders' Institution immediately after lunch: the officers called the lads to order and they were very respectful. They appreciated the religious drama of me striding around in an alb scattering water everywhere (and I must say that I enjoyed the moment just as much!). I remember on another occasion going round to the family home of a poor young man was a heroin addict. "Give your strength to N, your servant, bound by the chains of addiction. Enfold him in your love and restore him to the freedom of God's children," I said, as he sat there, pale and emaciated, on the sofa, longing for God's help. There have been lots of happier moments too: blessings, for example, of shops, cars, a gymnasium, a mother before childbirth and innumerable throats on St Blaise's Day (3rd February). I have found that everybody instinctively wants a blessing. We intuit that it is an important way in which God offers us his unfathomable help. We do not need to prepare for it over a period of time, as we do to receive a sacrament. We just need to be personally, physically, present.

I was delighted therefore when a recently engaged couple, one of whom graduated from Leeds Trinity not so long ago, asked if I would bless them. We sat in the Lady Chapel in the College. The young woman read John 15: "Love one another as I love you." I reflected a little on the challenge and beauty of marriage. Then I read the blessing: "We praise you, Lord, for your gentle plan draws together your children, N and N, in love for one another. Strengthen their hearts..." We all knew afterwards, as we chatted over tea, that something extraordinary had happened. They had invited God into their relationship and he had graciously allowed them to feel his presence and his ineffable power.

2 comments:

  1. Nice blog! I love this hostel very much. I will definitely visit and stay to that place.

    Pousadas Em Fortaleza

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  2. Thank you for a wonderful post.

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete