With the birth of spring, it seems I enter into the period of gift giving. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, end-of-year teacher gifts, weddings, birthdays; the list goes on and on. One gift I love to give are spiritual bouquets. Spiritual bouquets are prayers or devotional acts (such as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy) that you or a group of friends can offer for someone else to express joy, sorrow, or best wishes on a special occasion.
Especially for gifts for my parents, who prefer our prayers to any material gift, we try to make birthdays and Mother’s and Father’s Day extra special. We have started a tradition of doing spiritual bouquets for them and get a little creative with the presentation. For our gift, each of my seven siblings and myself picks a day of the month to offer a special prayer or devotion such as Mass, a Rosary, a Chaplet of Divine Mercy, or an hour of Eucharistic Adoration for my parents’ intentions. We write our spiritual commitment on a personalized photo card and display it in a frame. We’ve also each done individual cards and tucked them in card holders in a vase along with a dozen roses. One year, my sister got really crafty and took a box designed for an Advent calendar and labeled each of the drawers with the day of the month. Inside each box she put a little note from the giver about what they would do for my dad. Each day he would open the drawer to find which of us was praying for him and the specific devotion we were offering for him. He loved it and made sure to text us each day with a “thank you” for the prayers.
A spiritual bouquet doesn’t have to be this elaborate, though. A simple card is a great way to offer a collection of prayers for someone from a classroom, a school, a family, or a group of friends. Spiritual bouquets are a concrete way to show a person in need of prayers that the community is praying. The next time you need to give a gift to “someone who has everything,” consider a spiritual bouquet. The benefits are eternal!
Copyright 2016 Michele Faehnle