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REFLECTION FOR TODAY: The Prayer of Saint Francis

August 6, 2016

This continues series of columns begun on August 1, 2016.

I have been invited, challenged, and encouraged to make some comment about the situation in our world, our country, and our national politics. I have thought and prayed about how best to respond.

I have decided to post through my blog some of the inspirational words that strike me as important. These will be wisdom, poems, prayers, scriptures, and hymns that I come to in my own life of devotion. Some will be clearly religious. Others will seem secular. Some are profound; others mundane. All I believe are worth our time. I suggest reading them, pausing to reflect upon them, and then pondering the meaning throughout the day.

These postings are not intended to prompt debate. They are offered to encourage thoughtful, prayerful reflection. Please keep in mind that I have been a Christian pastor for more than fifty years. You will find a distinct Christian influence in these offerings. That is not intended to exclude anyone. I believe that those of you from other faith groups will find wisdom here that can be translated into your own traditional framework.

Prayer of Saint Francis, also known as the Peace Prayer, is a widely cherished Christian prayer. Though usually attributed to the 13th-century Saint Francis of Assisi, the prayer in its present form cannot be traced back further than 1912, when it was printed in Paris in French on the reverse of a card bearing the image of St. Francis.

It is an important prayer for us to ponder and make our own prayer.

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy 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.

 

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;

It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.”

This is the prayer in song preformed at the Church of St. Matthias in Munich, Germany by the Philippine Madrigal Singers.

May these words for reflection prompt us to pray.

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