#6 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 – that where there is despair, I may bring hope.
Despair may be one of the easier emotions to feel in our body. Do I notice where despair might be residing in my body right now? In my tummy? In my back? In my heart or in my throat?
Or, do I experience despair as a mental awareness—something like depression? If so, does this depression feel heavy? As a new temporary condition, or a familiar companion that parked itself in me so many years ago that I dare not think what it would feel like if it left?
What other awareness do I notice when I see despair linked to hope? Does the prayer bring me hope, or resignation? Do I feel lighter, or heavier? In what things do I hope?
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.
DESPAIR. Reading our prayer this time, I hear the word despair as un-coupled. Which feels in my body like separation and aloneness. My mind wants to tell me the answer to despair is attachment to someone or something outside of me, and that can be a good and loving God-gift. Today, the prayer also invites me to stand in the channel of God’s peace and reconnect with true hope in things not yet seen but promised as good.
*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