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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

The Prayer of Saint Francis is a Catholic Christian prayer. It is attributed to the 13th-century saint Francis of Assisi.

The prayer has been known in the United States since 1927 when its first known translation in English appeared in January 1927 in the Quaker magazine Friends’ Intelligencer (Philadelphia), where it was attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. Cardinal Francis Spellman and Senator Albert W. Hawkes distributed millions of copies of the prayer during and just after World War II.

The prayer of St. Francis is a petition to God that we might live up to the true way of being-in-the-world that God intends for the human family. To be most authentically human is to be an instrument of peace or, to put it in the sense of the prayer’s following lines, one who sows: love, pardon, faith, hope, light and joy in our world.

If the first part of the “Prayer of St. Francis” reminds us about whom we should strive to be in asking God to help us live out that identity, the second part of the prayer is a reminder of what not to be. In a word – selfish.

I’m not sure about you, but I have a lot to learn here – I wish I could be more like this prayer. In a word – selfless.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be understood, desiring to be loved, or seeking forgiveness from those we’ve hurt. But living after the example of St. Francis, whose whole life was modeled on the life of Jesus Christ, means putting others first and caring for the rest of creation in a way that reflects our interdependence and family relationship. It is a call to remember who we really are in the eyes of God, see who others are from that same perspective, and act in a way fitting our identity as human beings.

The “Prayer of St. Francis” offers us is a chance to pause, pray and reflect on who it is that we are and what it is that we are created to do.

May you this week choose what you will sow – love for hate, pardon for injury, faith for doubt, light for dark, and joy for sadness. May you remember this week that what you look for in this world you will find. Look for peace.

The Prayer of St Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,image
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,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

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Surrender

Surrender is when people stop fighting . In war, a white flag is a common symbol of surrender, as is the gesture of raising one’s hands empty and open above one’s head.

I was listening to a video clip by Rob Bell the other day (and no I’m not a universalist – I just like his style) and he talked about how most of us walk around with white knuckles, desperately holding onto to things and people.  He advocates that we should walk around with open hands, because only in an open hand can we release things and have things placed.  Perhaps this is what happens when and after we surrender.

Surrendering is not merely a once-and-for-all experience. It is continuous, day by day. When our soul struggles to live and preserve itself, that is a call to a deeper relationship with God.  It means more opening to Him with hearts, hands and arms wide open. Surrendering is not just the act of denying the self. It is an interruption of the motions of the life to connect with God.

Don’t seek God in temples. He is close to you. He is within you. Only you should surrender to Him and you will rise above happiness and unhappiness. ~ Leo Tolstoy

By surrender we find rest in our souls (Matt. 11:28-30). Our soul  exists for God – He put it there – to contain Him, to be filled with Him, and to express Him. His resurrection life and power  passes through every battle that we may experience.  We have access to this divine power in surrender and letting go.

I have a lot to learn here.  I’m still walking around white knuckled.  I need to open up and trust God more.  It’s not easy – but I know it’s important.  One day I’ll get there.

So what about you?  What does surrender mean to you, and what do you need to hold less tightly and open your hands to?  Here or somewhere this week will you share your thoughts?  You may just help someone let go and receive something.

Surrender

In these timber trenches
In darkness, I dig in
God protect me in these killing fields
And save my soul, from sin

In this war I am blind
And deaf from friendly fire
Protect my heart with Your shield
Be my Jehovah Jireh

These trenches are my prison
The enemy marches near
God, my rock of ages past
Break me out of here

So I wave my flag of dirty white
At Your feet, I fall
To my Jesus and my King
I surrender all

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