Tom had a house blessing this afternoon. It is something us Catholics do. I am not sure how this tradition got started BUT I don't think Catholic were the one to come up with it. Our daughter in law is Asian and was raised Buddhist and I have been to many house blessings for her family. They would never think of moving into a house before the Monks came and blessed it - they make quite an event out of the whole thing. The Monks come first thing on Saturday morning - usually there are 3 or 4 Monks, all dressed in their orange warps. They burn incense, say prayers and sprinkle blessed water on all the entrances, bedrooms and kitchen. After the Monks have finished and received ample pay (food and money) for their job the party begins. There is more food than one can imagine! There are kids running around having a great time. The food, party and family fellowship last long into the night. Now they have the right idea - but then it has been said that Asians will have a party for the sake of having a party. But - there is more to it than a party, it is the whole family thing that they enjoy. Something that as Americans we have forgotten about. I can remember growing up in a rural area. All of my cousins lived right down the "road". Not a weekend went by that we did not all get together and have a cook out or in - and make ice cream. I never felt alone even though I was an only child. I always had "family" around me and we were always sharing good time, good food and great "cousinship". Now days we are so scattered that our kids don't even know who their cousins are. It is sad that this part of our culture has been lost - that kids now days will never have that feeling of "being" a part of something bigger than they are. For this reason I am thankful everyday that my grandson is part of a "big" loving extended family. As for me I will be there for every house blessing, birthday party, birth party, death party or just a party for a party that my "extended" family has. Being part of something bigger than we are makes living and dieing a bit easier.
If we concentrate on the things that make us alike instead of the stuff that makes us different - we would all learn just how much in common we have.
- Part of Catholic House Blessing
When Christ took flesh through the Blessed Virgin Mary, he made his home with us. Let us now pray that he will enter this home and bless it with his presence. May he always be here among us; may he nurture our love for each other, share in our joys, comfort us in our sorrows. Inspired by his teachings and example, let us seek to make our home before all else a dwelling place of love, diffusing far and wide the goodness of Christ.
Be our shelter, Lord, when we are at home, our companion when we are away, and our welcome guest when we return, and at last receive us into the dwelling place you have prepared for us in your Father's house, where you live for ever and ever.