Cardinal John’s Newsletter 14 November 2019

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Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

Many years ago, I had developed the daily practice of as soon as I got out of bed standing up and singing (and I can’t sing) the following chant:
“Father/Jesus/ Spirit; I adore you; Lay my life before you; How I love you”.

I did that for a long time, and made appropriate gestures, such as accompanying the first line with hands raised in prayer and praise and bowing with reverence at the last line. Then somehow that practice fell by the wayside. However, I was reminded of it a couple of nights ago as I was driving home from an evening out.

I was listing to the Concert Programme as I normally do in the car. There was beautiful music playing and the commen-tator was saying that this whole programme was dedicated to reflecting on and working for peace in our world. Then he introduced a musician who was playing a Bach composition. I don’t know what the piece was, but it was beautiful. The musician said that he plays that piece of music everyday and then said, “It is my benediction on the day.” His words reminded me of the little practice I engaged in a long time ago. It also reminded me of a phrase I used a lot at about the same time in my life, a saying of Abraham Joshua Heschel “Just to be is a blessing, just to live is holy.”

I spent the rest of the drive home pondering on what I could do every day to make my own “benediction on the day,” and what I could do to ensure that life is a blessing. I know that if I see my life as a blessing, if I try to live every day and every moment of the day as a gift from God, then life will be holy. If life is lived as a blessing and a gift every day it then becomes not just a blessing for me, but for everyone I meet with throughout any particular day.
What is your “benediction on the day?”

Naku noa. Na + Hoane
+ John