How to be Blessed

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jun 12, 2023 6:00:00 AM

The liturgy readings for today (Corinthians 1:1-7 and Matthew 5:1-12) tell us about opportunities to encourage those who suffer afflictions and what attitudes to have and actions to take to be rewarded with blessing. There is such richness in these readings, we could really meditate with them for a long time.

A while ago, I was inspired to write some we-attitudes for friends and families. Today I am sharing them with you.

Blessed are we who are comforters, for we shall ease each other’s pain.

Blessed are we who forgive each other, for we all shall know peace.

Blessed are we who are sympathetic listeners, for we shall better understand ourselves and each other.

Blessed are we who remind others of happy memories, for we all shall grow in joy.

Blessed are we who pay attention to good details, for we shall have fuller relationships.

Blessed are we who are gentle sharers, for we shall be surprised by many kinds of wealth.

Blessed are we who don’t sweat the small stuff, for we shall know freedom from grudges.

Blessed are we who readily adapt to changes, for we shall realize our own versatility.

Friends or family might choose to pray together this little prayer of gratitude.

                                   Act of Acclamation

O my God, I am extremely grateful for having been blessed by you.  

And I appreciate all my gifts because they come from you, my God,

Who art all loving and deserving of all my love.

I promise to strive, with the help of your example,

to be more generous to those in any kind of need,

and to take nothing you give me for granted. Amen.


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Topics: Gratitude to God, prayer of gratitude, Sharon Krause

Oh, So Blessed!

Posted by Sharon Krause on Aug 15, 2022 6:00:00 AM

Today we celebrate the feast of Mary’s Assumption into heaven, and I can just picture Mary running to embrace her loving son again! How blessed she is! And we come upon that word, blessed, four more times in the reading from Luke’s Gospel today (1:39-56)..

Elizabeth says Mary is “blessed among women” and that the baby in Mary’s womb is “blessed.” She points out also that Mary is “blessed” because she believes in the fulfillment of the Lord’s words to her.

Then Mary acknowledges that she will be called “blessed” by all generations henceforth. The whole room is filled with joy and gratitude for God’s blessings! Can you remember a time you were so joyful?

Let’s look at Mary’s beautiful “Magnificat” and pick out the blessings mentioned in the poetic prayer. Right away, we consider God’s abundant mercy for those who obey and acknowledge Him. We are reminded of God’s strength which he uses to lift up the lowly and to fill the hungry. By his actions, he directs us. He keeps his promises, so He teaches us about faithfulness. We remember the importance of humility and of what it really means to be “rich.” God is a very loving Father and his name is truly holy and should be revered as “holy.”

We can almost feel the leaping of John the Baptist in Elizabeth’s womb. Mary’s spirit, she says, is rejoicing. Perhaps we can remember when we have felt our spirits rejoicing. We know we have been blessed over and over. We can prayerfully savor those blessings and share our joyful gratitude without necessarily writing such lovely poetry. It is a good idea, though, to acknowledge God’s goodness and generosity. While not bragging to others, we certainly can share how blessed we are and point out others’ blessings as well. It is so easy to complain. How much better to proclaim the greatness of the Lord! (v. 46)

Let us add our own personal memories in the following prayer of thanks:

Dear Loving Father, I trust in your unending mercy. Forgive me for (       )
and for times I have wavered in my faithfulness.
Thank you for giving me hope.

Lord of Strength, I trust you will lead me to new blessings, as you show me how

   to help (       ) and others who may need assistance.

Ever-present Lord, show me how to keep loving promises to (       ) and others.
Give me perseverance and belief in the talents you have given me.

Lord, give me gentle reminders to be humble and to be aware of what is truly

valuable and important, especially in the areas of (       ).

You know me and I am so glad You do!

Your name is holy. Thank you for your beautiful name. May I use your name only in a loving way.


Your oh so blessed follower,


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Topics: Assumption of Mary, gifts from God, Gratitude to God, Scripture, scripture readings, Sharon Krause

Oh, So Blessed

Posted by Sharon Krause on May 31, 2022 6:00:00 AM

With the lingering pandemic, visiting relatives and socializing with friends and family have been limited over the past couple of years. I have not heard of anyone recently staying with a relative for three months as Mary did with her cousin, Elizabeth. I am sure Mary was a very helpful visitor. I can imagine some happy conversations and sincere prayers of gratitude going up to God.

In the gospel reading for today’s Feast of the Visitation, the word “blessed” is found four times. Elizabeth tells Mary that she is blessed and blessed is the baby she is carrying. She tells Mary that she is blessed because Mary believed what the Lord had told her through the angel would come to pass. And then Mary, in her “Magnificat,” says that generations will call her blessed.

How often do we call yourselves blessed? Do we take the time to count our many blessings? Blessed isn’t a word that I hear too frequently. I do hear: “Good luck!” or “I hope things work out for you.” Despite all the evils and dangers in this troubled world, there are so many blessings we do enjoy and often take for granted. When God answers a prayer, do we spend as much time thanking him as we did asking for the blessing? God, the Creator, the Almighty, the Omnipotent, is loving us, even though sometimes we don’t understand his timing or his answers. We are blessed over and over again, in big ways and in small ways!

Did we ever go to visit a friend or relative and casually point out how blessed that person is? It is so easy to find fault and complain. People will eagerly sympathize with you. However, it is better still when we encourage people to offer thanks with us!

Jesus said in the Beatitudes in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12) that those who live in certain ways are blessed. What might seem like big challenges in life can result in future blessings! Being meek, being merciful, being righteous can be hard work, but we will be oh, so blessed for our efforts, according to our Savior.

We are especially blessed to have the true Body of Christ available to us at every Mass. we hear the priest remind us of that:

   Behold the Lamb of God,

   behold him who takes away the sins of the world.

   Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.

Without a doubt, we are blessed—with life, with love, with hope. In our daily prayer time, the Letter to the Ephesians 1:3-6 is a good starting point:

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who had blessed us in

   Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before

   the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he

   destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor

   of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved.



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Topics: Gratitude to God, Sharon Krause, counting our blessings

Being Positive

Posted by Sharon Krause on Feb 7, 2022 6:00:00 AM

You’ve got to accentuate the positive

   Eliminate the negative

   Latch on to the affirmative

   Don’t mess with Mr. In-Between

 These words are from the song, “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive,” written by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen and published in 1944. The lyrics seem to be good advice after two years of a pandemic and the weariness many of us are experiencing with all the bad news we hear every day.

It takes a firm effort and constant determination to be a positive thinker nowadays. We cannot deny or minimize the hardships the virus has caused many of us, but, with the help of God, we have to try to keep moving positively forward, little by little.

I can find myself starting to complain about somethingfor example, not going out to restaurants where many people could be, and thus, having to do so much cooking at home; then I remind myself how grateful I am that I have food and the ways and means to prepare it. I try to turn complaining into thanking God for his gifts to me.

I could complain about food prices rising, but then I realize that it would not hurt me to lose a little weight and to cut back on the foods I really don’t need! It is so easy to become negative and feel sorry for ourselves, but we can be better than that if we recognize that the Lord loves us and will help us. We read in Isaiah 41:10,

   (Do) not fear, for I am with you,

   do not be afraid, for I am your God;

   I will strengthen you, I will help you,

   I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.


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Topics: optimism, Gratitude to God, Sharon Krause, being positive

Sunny Side Up

Posted by Sharon Krause on Nov 8, 2021 6:00:00 AM

   Grab your coat and get your hat

   Leave your worry on the doorstep

   Just direct your feet

   To the sunny side of the street

These are a few of the lyrics from an uplifting song, “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” that was written in 1930 by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh. The song encourages listeners to look at the bright side of life. The melody is peppy, and many famous singers of the time made the song popular.

Lately I have been thinking about the challenge of being optimistic and positive. Needless to say, there is an abundance of controversy, anxiety, and stress in our world. It is easy to find something or someone to complain about each day. It is so easy to blurt out a casual criticism of something. Smiles and encouragement can be at a premium. Where is that sunny side?

How difficult would it be to intentionally avoid negative comments and thoughts for just one full day? Such an effort could certainly affect not only us but also the people with whom we interact. Starting with morning prayer, we might ask the Holy Spirit to inspire us with simple, holy joy in the Lord. I take some dietary supplements and certain prescription meds in the morning. At the same time, I could keep in mind:

   A cheerful heart is a good medicine,

     but a downcast spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

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Topics: attitude of gratitude, optimism, Gratitude to God, Sharon Krause, counting our blessings

The Lighter Side

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jul 9, 2021 6:00:00 AM

When I was a minister of the Eucharist in my parish, I was serving during a Mass one hot and humid summer morning. I stood near the altar preparing to receive the Holy Eucharist myself, before helping to distribute it to the congregation. We were singing the “Agnus Dei” when a big horsefly came flying towards me, heading for my nose and/or open mouth! I quicklyand, I hope, discreetly batted him away and tried to maintain my holy demeanor. To distribute Holy Communion, I stood off to the side with the ciborium in my hand. My teen-aged daughter, Sherry, came to me for the host. She raised her eyes to me and said, “Mom, I saw it! “Well, I had all I could do to keep from giggling out loud, but I mustered all my efforts at composure and went on with my task. Thanks, Daughter!

Another time when I was serving as minister of the Eucharist, all four-feet, eleven inches of me was standing behind the six-foot, five inch Deacon Tom. When it came time for him to hand me Holy Communion, he turned and I steppedwe were out of sync, and, for a moment, he couldn’t find me. Chuckle time!

My mother told me that she once went to Mass while she was fighting a persistent cough. She was chewing a piece of gum inconspicuously, just to keep her throat moist. All of a sudden, she had to cough, and that little piece of gum flew like a missile out of her mouth, barely missing the bald head of the man praying in the pew in front of her. Close call!


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Topics: Gratitude to God, RENEW International, Sharon Krause

Good Reminders

Posted by Sharon Krause on Apr 26, 2021 9:15:00 AM

I was riding through a residential area that I don’t have occasion to visit often when I noticed a small cross on the side of a house. I thought to myself, what a nice idea! Of course, I don’t know the reason for its being there, but it could be a pleasant little reminder to say a prayer before you go out in the car on an errand, or to pray in thanksgiving at your safe return.

In these days of carefulness about sanitizing, I often go to my kitchen sink as soon as I return from an outing and wash my hands. I grab the plastic bottle of dish detergent, give it a squeeze, and wash for the recommended 20 seconds. Lots of times I will notice some tiny bubbles that come out of the bottle along with the liquid soap; they float in the air all around me for a second or two. Each bubble, self-contained, silently reflecting the sunlight, gently glides through the air. They remind me of the numerous little blessings I take for granted each day of my life. My hands function, I have clean running water, I can smell the lemony fragrance, I can sanitize even though I have happily received my two doses of virus vaccine. Sure, those are small things, but they should not be overlooked.

People are easily reminded of bad events in their livesa scar on their skin reminds them of an accident; a dent in the car brings to mind the time someone backed into them; a doctor’s bill evokes a recent illness that was not completely covered by insurance. We all encounter such reminders, but we have to try to keep a balance by also noticing the good reminders in our everyday life.

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Topics: gratitude, Gratitude to God, RENEW International, share your faith, Sharon Krause

The Right Way

Posted by Sharon Krause on Feb 18, 2021 6:00:00 AM

I have heard that when Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address and ended with the part about ”government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” he stressed the word people in each phrase, not the prepositions of, by, and for. I think about that sometimes when, at Mass, we pray:

Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever. Amen.

I like the idea of stressing, in my speech and in my prayer, the word him, and not just the prepositions, through, with, and in. It may seem like a small thing, but it emphasizes just whose invitation for help and guidance we are accepting. We can depend on Jesus. We read in John 14:13-14:

 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

And in John 15:16:

 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.

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Topics: gratitude, Gratitude to God, prayer life, RENEW International, Sharon Krause

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