Prayer of St. Francis
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;
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.
An absolutely beautiful morning!
Our choir theme this year is "Living the Lyrics," and one of the songs we sang last night at rehearsal was based on this prayer. We were reminded by our director that the way Jesus taught us to live our lives is diametrically opposed to almost everything our culture tells us about a successful and abundant life.
This was my meditation on my walk with Trixie early this morning: asking God to help me "live the lyrics" today. To REALLY react in love when I'm faced with hatred, to REALLY bring joy to others even when I'm sad, to REALLY forgive someone who has injured me in some way.
God has told us through Paul's letter to the Philippians 2:3-4 (from The Message) "Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand."
Wow ... does this totally go against what our "me first" culture teaches us or what? Is putting others before ourselves natural behavior for any of us? Certainly not me! I'm so grateful that the abundant and successful life God wants for me has nothing to do with material things, but goes much, much deeper, and I'm certainly glad it doesn't depend on anything I try to do on my own, but is only attainable by His grace, which anyone, ANYONE can have freely by just by accepting the gift of His Son to the world. Every day I can ask for God's help, confident that the Holy Spirit living inside me will enable me to "live the lyrics." What a priceless treasure!