Today much of the world pauses to remember a humble man who lived eight centuries ago – St. Francis of Assisi. Irrespective of religious affiliation, he is loved. It’s hard not to love him because he loved one and all – the rich and the poor, the planet and the cosmos, as well the creatures in the sea and on the earth.
In the late 1990s, I traveled with my daughter to Italy on a pilgrimage to Assisi to visit St. Francis’ home. I found what I sought and much more. Together my daughter and I walked where Francis walked, prayed where he prayed. We cried, we laughed, and we found peace.
I’ve returned twice more to Assisi; it’s a grounding local for me. It refreshes Francis’ message and helps settle my confusion. His prayer brings me home to my heart; I suspect it does for you as well. If we ever needed to hold his prayer close, it seems to me that it is now; and for that reason, I share it today.
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. Saint Francis of Assisi