Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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What's That Blessing?

A number of folks have asked about the benediction the Rev. Kevin Laskowski often uses to conclude worship. It's a version of a prayer composed by Benedictine Sister Ruth Fox in the 1980's. You can learn more about its origins here.


"May God bless you with discomfort:
at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
so that you may live deep within your hearts.

May God bless you with anger:
at injustice, oppression, and exploitation,
so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears:
to shed for those who suffer,
so that you may reach out your hands to comfort them, to see their pain turn into joy.

And may God bless you with foolishness:
to believe that you can make a difference in the world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

And the blessing of God Almighty - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - be with you now and remain with you always. Amen."


When I was training for the priesthood, I served with a priest whose prayer book was full of post-its and other pieces of paper taped into it. Each contained a prayer, a blessing that had somehow become precious. Her prayer book was this marked-up, living, breathing, working, rocking and rolling stone of scrapbook spirituality, picking up and carrying inspiration as she went. I thought, "Some day, I might have a prayer book like that," one stuffed with all the uncommon prayer that had become meaningful to me over time. When I was gifted with a prayer book and hymnal upon ordination, the first prayer I taped into it was this one from Sister Ruth Fox. I changed the pronouns to you and your, cut out a few words, and added the Trinitarian formula, but it's her work, not mine, and it's a wonderful one. It's a strange sort of prayer that wishes you discomfort, anger, tears, and foolishness, and then somehow makes you feel fantastic about the idea. - The Rev. Kevin Laskowski