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I Want a Blessing

What is a blessing? Technically (meaning, in Scripture and theology) it is an expression of good upon a person or thing for the sake of applying even greater good to that person or thing. This is why God can bless us, a person in authority (Priest, parent, husband, etc.) can bless those under that authority, and we can "bless God" (as it says in Scripture many times). Yet, is that really why someone seeks a blessing? Is it possible that some people seek a blessing as a means of having them or their sins legitimized?

The concept of an impenitent person seeking a blessing (which has been talked about a lot for the last couple of months) brings the question of what a blessing actually is to the forefront of my mind. It does not make a difference if it is a banker who is stealing from his customers, a student cheating on tests, or a sodomite; if the sin is not repented of, there can be no blessing that will "take hold" in that person's life. A blessing always presumes a certain degree of penitence and proper contrition.

Ask yourself this question: why would someone who knowingly refuses to repent of a clearly grave sin, want to be blessed? It would not be because he is seeking the grace of repentance. Therefore, the only option (other than total confusion) which is left is that he is seeking a justification for his wicked choices.

Here is the big twist with all of this. Very few people (sadly, even Catholics) understand the idea of what a blessing is (as I described it above). Thus, when people come to a Priest and ask for a blessing, they are probably not seeking a "blessing" in the way that the Church thinks of it. Instead they have a (very) secular idea of blessings. It is closer to when one person says to another, "I plan doing XYZ and I want your blessing"; meaning: "I want you to say you approve of what I am doing".

This is not the Church's idea of blessings, and this is why Fiducia Supplicans is so filled with complications. Cardinal Fernandez can qualify and explain and enlighten until he is blue in the face, but if the average person sees a blessing as "you approve of my actions" and not "grant me greater good so that I can get to Heaven", then this will never be resolved. Do impenitent people (including sodomites and any others) often want the Church's blessing on their behavior? Of course they do (many will even admit this openly). Can we give that kind of blessing? Never.


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