Reprinted with permission of St. Anthony Messenger.

Everyday life presents many opportunities for blessing. Post your ideas on the right.

1. The Supermarket
Shopping lines can be breeding grounds for rudeness and anger. If someone is in the wrong line, perhaps help unload the cart and wish the person well. If someone cuts in line, it probably is due to urgent problems. To acknowledge that stress and offer a "God be with you" can bring grace to a tense situation.

2. The Fast Lane
There isn't a day that goes by that we don't read about road rage and the unnecessary horrors that it can bring. Instead of cutting someone off, we need to allow space for others. As a people of God we need to acknowledge that person with a kind wave and a blessing for the journey.

3. Work
Many workplaces today have been transformed into hostile environments. The increasing demand for productivity--more work in fewer hours for less pay--creates needless antagonism. Perhaps a blessing for the workplace itself, and a prayer for co-workers, can be the starting point.

4. Old Folks
As a greater percentage of our population ages, we daily witness the struggle of elderly people to maintain their dignity and independence. Instead of losing patience and making short remarks, why not offer them a blessing for the remainder of life's sacred journey?

5. Priests and Nuns
While there are many controversies within the Catholic Church today, it is time for laypeople to show their respect for the men and women who have chosen to devote their lives to serving God. A simple touch of the hand and a "Bless you, Father" or "Bless you, Sister" can be a vital faith-affirming gesture that our religious need.

6. The Sick
Life-threatening illness can invade our lives when we least expect it. To reach out and bless someone who is ill can bring much-needed physical and emotional healing.

7. Teens
On the outside today's teenagers can seem loud, rude, and uncaring. On the inside many are lonely and afraid of what life has in store for them. Kind words and a blessing will bring a touch of the divine into their lives.

8. Little Devils at Mass
It can be annoying and disruptive to have children cry and misbehave during Mass. But to remove children from church is to rob them of their faith. In Jesus' words, "Let the children come!" Like Jesus, we need to reach out, bless these children, and envision the goodness that our children deserve.

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