Thursday, October 1, 2009
What Does It Mean To Be Blessed?
One often sees the Chinese Character for blessing on furniture, on walls, on presents and in combination with other words. It is a common verbal and written greeting. 幸福, Happiness. We all desire to be blessed and want others to be blessed.
The icon on the purse on the top left can be analyzed in many different ways; one easy to follow: the left side has two lines on top and three lines coming down vertically. The two horizontal lines signify the heavens and the three vertical lines signifies the Sun, Moon and Stars. On the bottom right you have the field which produces food, above that you have the mouth that eats. This character also is an icon for a glass of alcoholic drink used in sacrifice. In short you have all that is necessary for happiness the influence of the heavens and plenty of food and drink for our needs.
The word 오복 (five blessings ) is heard often and used in many different ways. Even part of the name of stores and companies. The five blessings are listed as longevity, health, wealth. virtue and a peaceful death. They are ardently desired not only in the East but where ever you have humankind.
In teaching Catholic Doctrine the thought comes to mind often that Jesus our teacher was not blessed with any of these except health. He did not live a long life, he had nowhere to lay his head, was considered a worker of the devil and died a very cruel death. This statement can't help but makes us think what does it really mean to be blessed.