Friday, April 17, 2009
Make Me an Instrument of Peace
Francis of Assisi was the founder of the Franciscans order of monks. He is considered the patron saint of animals and the environment by the Catholic Church, two issues that are relevant to me.
The story of St. Francis goes that while working in the market selling wares for his businessman father a beggar asked for alms. Francis, overcome by compassion for the plight of the man, gave him everything he had in his pockets. This angered his wealthy and successful father greatly. Francis however, felt a compassion and a desire to help those less fortunate though everything and everyone was against such foolishness and he was ridiculed by his peers for such weakness.
Following that episode he joined the military where he had health problems which lead to his thoughts of a higher calling and he eventually gave up his earthly wealth and became a friar, starting his own monastery in Assisi.
St. Francis of Assisi wrote one of the most beautiful pieces and inspirational pieces of truth in prayer that was ever written. It likely could be the affirmation of anyone who wishes to live a truly good life, to be a person of integrity and compassion. If we can become what is wished for in the prayer of St. Frances how much better this world and indeed our lives would become.
Lately I've been having some challenges and I'm sure that we will come through but it's been more stressful than usual. I take great comfort in inspirational literature in times like this and certainly this is one of my favourite pieces, written not as literature, but as a prayer, yet it is as beautiful and honest as any poetry ever was.
Life is lived in ebbs and flows and such is the way of this transition for our family right now but I go through, working hard at maintaining equilibrium, determined not to run screaming in the opposite direction but to carry through until better times are upon us again.
The other day I was having a particularly stressful day and while escaping with a visit to some of my favourite blogs I encountered a beautiful piece of music called "Instrumental of Peace" and it was my favourite prayer set to music. I listened to it for a while and it reminded me that there is a higher purpose for all of us, that we are here to do great things, each and every one of us and that with or without obstacles we have to move towards that.
Please click here to hear Olivia Newton John singing this beautiful music. Allow it to be your guide as you journey towards a peaceful and loving life in easy times and good times.
While St. Francis may have been a saint of the Catholic Church his prayer transcends all religious barriers to speak a truth that is all encompassing and relevant to every person who reads it.
Make me an instrument of 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;
where there is sadness, joy;
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
~St. Francis of Assisi~