#5 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 doubt, I may bring faith.
In addition to listening to what doubt and faith may stir in your quiet time, you may find a desire to begin memorizing the prayer. I did—especially while driving.
I found myself practicing and saying our prayer from the beginning, “Lord, make me a channel of thy peace…” and adding as much of the prayer that I could recall. I began quizzing myself: what is the answer to hate? What is God’s response to wrong? Oh right, harmony balances discord, and truth answers error.
And then, somewhere along the way, I started seeing and identifying when I was being a bit hateful, or judging someone or something as wrong. Without my permission or design, the negative traits listed in the prayer—those qualities that steal away peace and compromise my wholeness to be and to serve—were announcing themselves in me, by name, more quickly. Only now, I found a readiness to reach for the balancing positive trait that God would have me seek.
Experiencing or acting with a degree of hate?—Call in love.
Seeing wrongs going on around me?—Am I willing to practice the spirit of forgiveness?
Discord?—How might I see harmony in this?
Error? I made a mistake?—Lord, may I answer with truth.
And having doubt? In God? In others? In our world? In myself?—Lord, make me a channel of thy peace – that where they is doubt, I may bring faith.
The sacred salve of the St. Francis prayer can start showing up in very gentle, practical ways in our daily lives.
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.
FAITH. I used to think I was bad because I had doubt. I used to fear not having enough faith to get into heaven. Three things have helped me tremendously. 1) Reading that Mother Teresa had doubt. 2) The mustard seed. 3) Choose Love.
“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”-1 Corinthians 13:12-13 NIV
*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. email@example.com