|El Greco ~ St. Francis Before the Crucifix|
Today is the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi who died in 1226. The prayer below is usually attributed to Francis, and even if he didn't really compose it, the thoughts are surely his. It is a good prayer to pray at the start of each day.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, let me sow pardon;
where there is discord, let me sow unity;
where there is doubt, let me sow faith;
where there is despair, let me sow hope;
where there is darkness, let me sow light;
where there is sadness, let me sow 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
Could I add a little nuance to the phrase, "That I may not so much seek to be loved as to love." There's nothing wrong with hoping to be loved. Many people in the world are loved by no one; their pain is very deep. Conversely, there are some people who love themselves so much. It can be very unattractive. But everything must be kept in balance. Wherever we experience the love of others - we pray to be deeply grateful and humbled. To be loved is a very great gift and a wonderful sign of God's love for us, as we are God's own dear children.