Thank the Lord Always: Blessed be His Name!

joey-praising
Photo by Melanie Reyes

Dearly Beloved,

Beloved of God, and beloved of us at Renewal Ministries. We are constantly being overwhelmed by your faithful support—some of you from way back in 1981!! When I sign the thank you letters, I am deeply moved and thank God for you.

Many of you probably have heard the song Blessed Be Your Name. I love it and even convinced one of my daughters, Catherine, to have it sung at her wedding! Here are the lyrics, which are really worth meditating on:

Blessed Be Your Name

(Written by Matt and Beth Redman, sung by Tree63)

Blessed be Your name
In the land that is plentiful
When the streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing you pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s all as it should be
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name . . .

All the words are very meaningful, but the line “Every blessing you pour out I’ll turn back to praise,” is one I think of often. It makes me realize that I am surrounded by blessings, both of the positive and negative sort, and I so often forget to turn back these blessings to the Lord in praise.

Even the most ordinary things of our everyday life are blessings. Are we alive? It is a blessing. Praise You, Lord! Do we have our daily bread? It is a blessing. Praise You, Lord! Are we Christian? An amazing blessing. Praise You, Lord! Have we just returned from driving our car and didn’t get in an accident? Praise You, Lord! Have we just run into a troubling circumstance? Praise You, Lord, for You will give me the grace to handle it and the wisdom to know what to do and the grace to trust You in the midst of it! Are we in physical pain? Praise You, Lord, for letting me participate in Your suffering and letting me join with You in offering my suffering with You for reparation of my sins and the sins of the whole world!

I am living in gratitude and praise much more now after being struck so deeply by that phrase of this wonderful song. May you do so also!

Ralph Martin

Ralph Martin is president of Renewal Ministries. He also hosts The Choices We Face, a widely viewed weekly Catholic television and radio program distributed throughout the world. Ralph holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome and is a professor and the director of Graduate Theology Programs in the New Evangelization at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He was named by Pope Benedict XVI as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization and was also appointed as a “peritus” to the Synod on the New Evangelization. Ralph is the author of a number of books, the most recent of which are The Urgency of the New Evangelization, The Fulfillment of All Desire, and Will Many Be Saved? He and his wife Anne have six children and sixteen grandchildren and reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan.