Throughout the day today many people have approached me and asked me to bless ítem they have bought here in Lourdes. My habit makes me an easy target. Of course, I am happy to do so.
From day one of my priesthood when someone asks me to bless an item, I use it as an opportunity to engage the person. If the person has not told me, I always ask if the ítem is a gift. If it is not I simply bless the ítem and the person who asked for the blessing. If it is a gift, I ask who it is for and ask God to bless the ítem, the giver and the receiver by name.
Two blessings today: I blessed some simple gifts a man bought for his wife and children. As I blessed each ítem, I prayed for the recipient. This afternoon the man walked into a gift shop where I was buying a medal and told me he had been looking for me and wanted to have a picture taken with me so he could tell his children about our encounter.
Later I sat down at a restaurant for dinner. A Singaporean couple name James and Cheryl, whose ítems I had blessed this afternoon, were also in the restaurant. At some point during my dinner we made eye contact across the restaurant. When they were finished with their dinner, they, without my knowledge, paid for my dinner and left. Were it not for the waiter telling me they were from Singapore, I wouldn't even know who had paid for my supper.
God is good. People are amazing. And I am rediculously blessed.
The Pilgrim Priest
Fr. Bart Hutcherson, OP is a priest of the Dominican Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in the Western USA. From April 20 - June 1, 2015 he walked from Lourdes, France to Santiago de Compostella, Spain. This page contains observations, images and reflections from the Way of St. James.
Fr. Bartholomew Hutcherson, OP, "The Pilgrim Preacher" is an Itinerant Preacher and member of the Western Dominican Province Preaching Team. He is available for retreats, conferences, and Parish Missions. He offers pilgrimages periodically and shares images and reflections on this website as "virtual pilgrimages."