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by Catherine Frakas 21 Jun 2002

What to do with a Blessing from the Lord? QUESTION from Big G January 26, 1999 I recently heard a moving talk about when we receive a blessing from the Lord we should mentally pour it out as a libation so that we dont lust after blessings but let them flow from us (or words to this effect). The example used is when King David received a cup of water in the desert he poured it out. This was on a non Catholic radio show.
My Question: 1. Is this true? If so how do I practically implement this into my relationship with the Lord.
Many Thanks G
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on January 29, 1999 Dear G:
It is not uncommon for Protestants to come up with difficult imagery. To mentally pour out a blessing is odd imagery,to me anyway.
But there is a central truth here. We do need to avoid lusting after anything – blessings, food, sex, even the Eucharist.
Lust is a disordered compulsion toward something. It is a desire for something merely for its own sake.
We should not lust after blessings in the since of accumulating blessings merely for the sake of it. It can be possible for people to seek after blessing in an addictive way – seeking them not as a glory and honor to God, but because they are compelled by addiction to cling to blessings.
Such people are spiritual gluttons and have a misplaced devotion.
The purpose of blessings is for God to communicate His life to us, His generosity, His favor, His love. When we receive that blessing we then have a responsibility to act upon it, to share it, to pass it on.
For example, if the Lord gives me the blessing of having a talent to sing, then I have a corresponding responsibility to share that talent for the greater glory of God. If I have been given the blessing of the talent to put together a website, then I should follow through and share that talent with others. If God blesses a married couple with a child, the parents have a corresponding responsibility to raise that child in the love and knowledge of the Lord. If I am blessed with wealth, then I need to share that wealth with others in the name of the Lord.
I am not sure which Scripture passage you refer to? 1 Samuel 7:6 says: So they gathered at Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day….
2 Samuel 23:16 says: Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it; he poured it our to the Lord….
The word libation comes from the Latin libatio which comes from libare. This meaning is to taste, pour out as an offering.
Libation, in other words, is an act of offering to the Lord, but more than that, it is a sacrifice for the Lord. Water is the fluid of life. Without water we die. Jesus says that he who gives up his life will live.
When we give a libation, not methaphorically in mind, but in fact, in real sacrifice of that which we have, ourselves, and our very needs, to an offering of the Lord.
This fits with what I said above. We need to receive the blessings and then share them according to the responsibility inherent in that blessing. We are not to horde blessings and keep them to ourselves – but offer them back up to God in good works to the greater Glory of our Lord.
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