To Be Blessed

Earlier this week, I was inspired by this article on Aleteia. Usually when a person says he is blessed, he means that something positive has happened in his life or that the general circumstances of his life have thus far been positive. He is blessed because he has a good job, caring friends, a loving family, or all of the above.

However, the meaning of the word “blessed” is different when you consider the lives of the saints. They suffered greatly while on earth; they did not necessarily have good jobs and caring families and friends. Many of them lived and died in poverty and persecution. Is that a blessed life? By the world’s standards, not at all. It’s an awful life. You didn’t seize the day, you didn’t enjoy the basic pleasures of life like sleep and food and sex and mindless entertainment, and you chose to put all your trust in a Higher Power whom no one has ever seen and whom no one can empirically prove exists.

So when something bad happens to you—in other words, when you reach a point in your life that could be considered suffering—you can consider that to be a blessing, perhaps an opportunity to develop the traits that will serve you in an eternity of praising God in heaven. Hence, the true sense of what it means to be blessed cannot be discovered on earth. No one on earth today has witnessed the blessings of heaven, although certain experiences can give us hints of what that may be like. After reading and thinking about the article, I concluded that to be blessed is to suffer greatly, to endure a kind of spiritual beat-down for God, all while hoping you will be blessed in a heavenly sense.