On the Tenth Night of Christmas…

#10 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.

There is less resentment, and no waiting for others to understand me, if I accept that it is my right and responsibility to grow in understanding of my true Self. There is no loss in identity, or shortage of understanding for all, when I am willing to attend to knowing myself and ask for what I need without demands.

What happens then, if I extend this prayer and add, Lord, grant that I may seek rather to understand myself than to wait for others to understand me? Might I be less demanding of others to know, guess at, or understand the parts of me that I do not yet know myself?

We all have a natural and God-given desire to be seen and understood. But, in knowing and understanding ourselves, might my desire to understand others be of a more generous and God-given spirit?

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

UNDERSTAND. My husband has often replied, “Everyone has a story, and we don’t always know it.” Sometimes I find his reply irritating—wanting him to join me in people judging. Sometimes I get jealous of his virtuosity. But, he is right.

And sometimes, most likely when I am feeling understood and loved myself, I can remember—I don’t need to understand their story to respect that they have one. And, trying to understand still counts.

*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

2 thoughts on “On the Tenth Night of Christmas…

  1. I’m a tad late in remembering that in the St Francis prayer I learned, the verb used as “bring” in this offering was “sow”. Having just passed through the Christmas season, in which we were the bringers of packages and good cheer and tidings of great joy, I am drawn to “sow” and sowing seeds of love by bringing a listening ear, tuned to understanding, coming from a place of having accepted and re-accepting God’s acceptance of my story.

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