Today we celebrate the feast of one of the best know saints in the world – St. Francis of Assisi. Born in 1181, he lived his whole life in Assisi until his death in 1226. So much has been written about him from his conversion to radical poverty, to Christ’s call to him to rebuild the church, to his having the stigmata. For today, I will leave the story of his extraordinary life to those who have already written. Catholic Encyclopedia has a terrific article about his life for your reading pleasure.
I thought praying with St. Francis would be a fitting way to celebrate his day, so I bring you the Prayer of St. Francis for your meditation.
It’s funny. I sang this song in at Mass over the weekend. Perhaps many of you did. I’m sure we’ve all sung it at least hundred times. But I don’t think I’ve ever actually prayed it as a prayer. Even as my eyes scan the words, I hear the tune in my head.
So I thought, “Today, let’s really pray this prayer by living it. ”
I encourage you to take this into the quiet. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you pray line by line – to see the places in your daily life where you can bring peace and sow love; where you can be aware of injury; where you can dispel doubt and despair; where you can bring light and joy. Pray to seek the good of the other, over the good of ourselves – in consoling, understanding and loving as Christ loves, with the total gift of self.
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O 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. Amen
St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Anne