This is latest angel whose blessing I had the honor and delight of performing. We celebrated Catholic and Jewish elements: Blessing over the Wine, Honoring Grandparents, The Blessing of the Siblings, Appointing Godparents, Baptism, Prayer of the Faithful along with beautiful readings and so many personal and creative touches. As we say in interfaith seminaries, “Never instead of, always in addition to” Or as I tend to say, “With two traditions, we are twice blessed!” It was an intimate blessing in the family’s home. Everyone was honored and included. I am profoundly grateful to have basked in the light of the love of this beautiful family. One of my favorite Christian teachings is “God is Love.” In the Talmud it is said that a human being is a universe entire. We wholeheartedly celebrated the universe that is Nicole.
There seems to be a tidal wave of change happening across the world. I need not go into the details. You know it. I know it. Our recent election and other elections around the world reflect it.
So here is the question—”the root of the root and the bud of the bud”: Are we going to respond with love or fear?
Awareness begins the asking: Am I responding to this situation— this comment, this event, this person— from love or fear?
I am not suggesting that we should deny our fears. Heck no! That would only give our fears power over us. That only exacerbates the problem.
To acknowledge our fears, to face them openly and honestly, is the path towards liberation and empowerment. That’s the beauty of it!
I am asking that each of us takes a moment to step back, breathe– and make a choice with awareness. You can do this right now with any situation or person in your life. Right now.
I pray to God we choose love. Only love brings hope, healing and peace. Mind you, love does not mean that we do not protect ourselves. It does not mean staying silent. Honesty, openhearted communication, courage and vulnerability all require strength. Great strength.
Hint: If there is defensiveness, anxiety or guilt, there is fear involved. Where there is peace, healing and joy, love is involved. Truth, honesty, care, nobility, charity, respect, humanity and anything positive has love in it. Frustration, hatred, anxiety, panic and anything negative has some form of fear in it.
So, my blessed friend, for 2017, I pray this Jewish prayer for you, “May you go from strength to strength!” Knowing that strength means loving our neighbor as ourselves as Christianity teaches. Knowing that it means seeing the Divine in our neighbor as Hinduism and Sufism teaches us. Knowing that strength is to hold all life sacred as Buddhism and Native American spirituality teaches. Did you know that the golden rule exists in some form in every religion? It does. The different versions are listed in my book, Bless This Child. Most importantly, love begins with self love. So, Dear One, for 2017 I pray that you love and respect yourself fully, boundlessly and unconditionally.
For in the words of Max Ehrmann:
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Wishing you and your extended families Happy Holidays and a Blessed 2017!
Stevie Rey’s blessing ceremony was nothing less than magical! There was so much love in the room, it was palpable. Her godparents gave her exceptional life gifts to help her on her spiritual journey. Dave, Stevie’s father, later wrote me this, “Yesterday felt as special as a wedding, as fun as the last day of school, and it was a supernatural thrill to watch our circle of friends and family and loved ones who’ve come and gone open up and surround our little sting rey with all that love.” Dave and Vanessa, your family is a gift — to the world, to your family and friends and to me. I am profoundly grateful that God brought you all into my life. Thank you for allowing me to bask in the stardust of your family’s love. This is the stuff that makes my knees bend, and my heart sing!
Here is a photo of the final ritual where each family member and friend, including the children, sprinkled Stevie Rey with rose petals along with their personal prayers and good wishes. These prayers are points of light that go straight to the heart of God, providing the most beautiful and powerful energy for this little girl’s life journey. As Mom Vanessa would say, “Go, Stevie, go!”
Stevie Rey beginning life on a bed of roses
Little girls love their Daddies. I think she enjoyed her blessing! Mommy looks like a Madonna.