Sunday, April 05, 2009

Instrument of God's Peace

Last weekend I watched a movie about a man I knew almost nothing about except that he wrote a prayer that has been beautifully set to music that I have played and sung many times.  I love the words, but never knew the story behind them until I saw the movie.  I've even been to the place where the author lived and worked.  It is as picturesque and beautiful a place as you might imagine, nestled in the int rugged mountains of Italy.  But it took watching the story of Giovanni Francesco Bernardonek and simultaneously finding myself in a dark enough place to crave desperately what he wrote about, that I came to understand what Francis of Assisi meant when he wrote this prayer:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And 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.

It was more than 800 years ago that Saint Francis penned those words  No doubt they were very appropriate words for his time.  But I think they are just as important, and necessary, for us today.  Now, more than ever, we need to be understanding, we need to be looking out for each other.  With all the sadness andd stress of the world around us, there has never been a greater need for peace, the peafce of Jesus Christ.  And there has never been a better place or time than right here, right now.

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