#8 in the Christmastide Prayers for Peace Series
Find a quiet place and invite the God of your understanding into this moment and space made sacred by Love. When ready, return to your journal and write the St. Francis Prayer from its beginning and through the next prayer in the series.
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace – that where there is hatred, I may bring love – that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness – that where there is discord, I may bring harmony – that where there is error, I may bring truth – that where there is despair, I may bring hope – that where there are shadows, I may bring light – that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Does this prayer get a little too close to hearing “cheer up” when my heart is breaking?
Is the intent of this prayer to eradicate sadness in the world and in me? Or, can I allow and welcome joy alongside sadness? Can these two, deeply personal emotions peacefully coexist in the channel of God’s peace?
With this prayer for joy, we have come to the end of the first section of the St. Francis Prayer. I like to think of this first series of eight prayers as Responsive Prayers—accepting God’s loving response to my reactions, or character defects, that disrupt peace.
As we move on to the next trio of prayers, you may notice a change in tone and perspective—a subtle shift towards more proactively seeking the ideals of our higher self.
But first, and now, you may want to pause and sit quietly with where you have been with the Prayer of St. Francis. Are you feeling a closer connection with the prayers? Are you finding a more loving connection with God, yourself, and others?
Listen to the words in the prayer, and the words inside of you. Write them down. Thank them. And, if there is silence, allow yourself to sit in the familiar comfort of these words of peace.
GRIEF. I can not read this line in our prayer without feeling grief as both the root and flower of sadness. Out of this, the word rosetears became shorthand for me by describing the non-dualistic reality of holding both sadness and joy, grief and gratitude.
Another invitation came to me at a time when I thought grief would consume and bury me. I came to accept and allow myself to be sad in the small and highly personal realities of my life and loss while also being able to recall the big, never changing love that surrounds and comforts beyond time or circumstances. A wise child captured this divine paradox as, “Love is big, and small”.
*Prayer of St. Francis, as presented in ‘Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions‘
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace – that where there is hatred, I may bring love – that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness – that where there is discord, I may bring harmony – that where there is error, I may bring truth – that where there is doubt, I may bring faith – that where there is despair, I may bring hope – that where there are shadows, I may bring light – that where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted – to understand, than to be understood – to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. Amen.
NOTES: This is a public forum and comments and questions are always welcome, but please be thoughtful and respectful to the journey for yourself and for others. Please also know that I welcome hearing from you directly about your thoughts, comments, questions and suggestions during and after this Christmastide season. firstname.lastname@example.org