Sunday, July 13, 2014
For two Sundays in a row, our pastor spoke about the life of St. Francis, including what led him to his life's calling. Whenever I think of St. Francis, I think of the peace prayer attributed to him: "O Lord, make me an instrument of Your Peace! Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is discord, harmony. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sorrow, joy. Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life." When my mom passed away nearly three years ago, that prayer was included at my request in her memorial service. Afterward, the pastor gave me a laminated version of the prayer, decorated with a colorful image of a stained glass window. As she gave it to me, the pastor said that Mom's "life lived this out." So, as my mind wanders to St. Francis and to my mom, I reflect on what I can do each day to live out that prayer. I find myself these days returning to the actions of my childhood where I kneel at the side of the bed before I go to sleep, praying for a greater use of my words and actions and the discernment to be an instrument of peace.