Franciscan Benediction

I attended a weekday Episcopal Mass with my friend and colleague, Jennifer, the other day. One of the closing prayers was a Franciscan Benediction which I had not heard before, but which a quick search reveals is known by many others. Although I have seen it quoted in many places, none lists an original source for it.

I thought it was worth reproducing in case there are others, like me, who are not familiar with it. It is a good prayer for all of us.

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths,
And superficial relationships
So that you may live deep
Within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression,
And exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice,
Freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain,
Rejection, hunger, and war,
So that you may reach out your
Hand to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with
Enough foolishness
To believe that you can make
A difference in the world,
So that you can so what others
Claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to
All our children and the poor.

Amen.

As an aside for those who have never attended one, the Episcopal Mass bears a striking resemblance to our Catholic Mass, although several of the elements – e.g., the confessional rite and the kiss of peace – appear in different places in the liturgy.

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