Monday, December 08, 2008

Poll-Release Monday #62

Here is your new poll question:
  • True or false?: The liturgy is the work of Mary and all the saints, as well as that of Jesus.
What do you think? Vote in the poll in the sidebar.

As for the previous poll, here are the results:
  • True or False?: In the liturgy it is not only the Father who blesses us, but we who bless the Father.
    • True: 20 (69%)
    • False: 9 (31%)
The correct answer is:
  • TRUE, cf. CCC no. 1110: In the liturgy of the Church, God the Father is blessed and adored as the source of all the blessings of creation and salvation with which he has blessed us in his Son, in order to give us the Spirit of filial adoption.

    1078: Blessing is a divine and life-giving action, the source of which is the Father; his blessing is both word and gift (eu-logia, bene-dictio). When applied to man, the word "blessing" means adoration and surrender to his Creator in thanksgiving.
This may have been a difficult question because some people are probably unfamiliar with the notion of us blessing God. We usually think of it the other way around: God blessing us. I explained what it means to bless God in Poll-Release Monday #49:
  • What does it mean to "bless" God? Usually when I think of "blessing" I think of setting something apart for holy use or making something holy, like when a priest blesses oil or water. But, we can't set God apart for holy use or make Him holy, He's already holy!

    What I found is that blessing has a wider meaning than that. It can also mean "favor" as when God blesses us with every blessing (cf. Eph 1:3) or when he says that Abrahams descendents will be "blessed." This type of blessing is like a gift of joy and prosperity that God gives to us.

    When we speak of blessing God, we have in mind a gift of praise to God, usually in return for the blessings that he has poured out on us. The Psalms are full of examples of man blessing God, and there are examples in the NT as well:

    Psa 16:7 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.

    Psa 26:12 My foot stands on level ground; in the great congregation I will bless the LORD.

    Psa 34:1 A Psalm of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away. I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

    Psa 68:26 "Bless God in the great congregation, the LORD, O you who are of Israel's fountain!"

    Psa 103:1-2,20-22 A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 20 Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! 21 Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will! 22 Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!

    Psa 104:1,35 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, thou art very great! Thou art clothed with honor and majesty, 35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD!

    Psa 115:18 But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD!

    Psa 134:1-2 A Song of Ascents. Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD! 2 Lift up your hands to the holy place, and bless the LORD!

    Psa 135:19-20 O house of Israel, bless the LORD! O house of Aaron, bless the LORD! 20 O house of Levi, bless the LORD! You that fear the LORD, bless the LORD!

    Rom 1:25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.

    Rom 9:5 to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen.

    2 Cor 11:31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for ever, knows that I do not lie.

    Pretty cool, huh?
I hope that helps. For more on blessings see the following resources:
  • Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology: Blessing
  • Modern Catholic Dictionary: Blessing
  • New Advent Encyclopedia: Blessing
Pax Christi,

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