On the Eleventh Day of Christmas…

#11 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.

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.

This one is extremely personal, isn’t it? It addresses who and how we are to love without offering qualifiers or limits. It suggests we step out on the ledge of love without harnesses to pull us back if there is not ease or reciprocity.

In fact, these past three prayers are void of any means or merit testing. They seem to suggest finding a way to offer compassion—unconditionally and independently of what anyone else is doing.

I have come to think of this section as Character Building Prayers—seeking God’s help to get ahead of my shortcomings and live into the ideals I believe God has for me. And I need these prayers. Because, frankly, it is only in God’s peace—in this deep knowing that all is abundant and well—that I am able to choose and live beyond my human reactions and reasons to comfort, understand, and love.

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.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

LOVE WHO SHOWS UP. Not too long after my divorce, a friend convinced me to get a cat. It helped, but I still fell to being a victim and feeling sorry for myself. No husband. No boyfriend. Feeling less-than and lonely. One day, as my cat Toonces sat purring on my chest, my heart heard, “How about you start now with loving this cat?”

Around that same time, every work day morning my boss would sit down in front of my desk and talk about what he ate the night before, how much he weighed, the reason for his particular shoe choice (which was usually weather related), and any non-work related topic he chose for that morning’s monologue. I complained to my sponsor about his frivolous misuse of my time. She told me, “Put your pencil down. And listen.”

*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. www.theresa@theresawyatt.com

1 thought on “On the Eleventh Day of Christmas…

  1. Ooh. Putting the pencil down. That’s like turning the Queen Mary 180 degrees in the Suez canal. Can it be done?

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