Make Me an Instrument

Sunday, April 19, 2009

One of the most beautiful sights in Italy is the little town of Assisi. Known as the birthplace of Italy’s patron saint, St. Francis, Assisi is a feast for the eyes with it Roman ruins, narrow winding streets, and walls of cascading flowers. The town boasts breathtaking views of central Italy. On the day I was there this spring, we looked out on miles of vineyards, lush gardens, and medieval villages.It was in this idyllic setting that St. Francis grew up with all the privileges of family wealth. As a very young man, Francis turned his back on his inheritance and committed his life to God. He practiced a life of simplicity, poverty, and humility before God. With a devout respect for all that God created, Francis showed compassion for the poor, the sick, and all of God’s creatures. His remains are at the beautiful Basilica of St. Francis in the heart of the town. The "Prayer of St. Francis," while probably not authored by him, certainly embodies his spirit of simplicity.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
here there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

The words reveal what it really means to be a Christian: to be an instrument of God's peace. If we become active in our Christianity, we will put the needs of others before ourselves. We’ll be the love, forgiveness, faith, hope, light, and joy to others. The prayer is that we will be less concerned with getting and more concerned with giving. Following the example of Christ’s death and resurrection to new life, we too should die to self and find eternal life through our Heavenly Father.

This week let’s think about situations that require us to be love forgiveness, faith, hope, light, and joy to someone. Let's be an instrument of God's peace. Then let’s feel the peace and blessing our risen Lord.

To listen to a contemporary musical version of the prayer, click on this link.


Tracy Thompson said...

Cathy, I loved reading "The Prayer of St. Francis." And, just remembering the extreme beauty of the area was overwhelming, one of my favorite days on our trip. Tracy

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