Sunday, July 22, 2012

Say a little prayer for me (and thee)

I like this little prayer, "attributed to St. Francis" even though it seems to have been composed about 1912. The saint himself, you may remember, died in 1226 --- so there's a substantial gap. You can find it on page 833 of the Book of Common Prayer, and elsewhere of course.

It seems appropriate on a day when the headlines still are full of reports on the Colorado theater shootings and quite a few sermons, I'm willing to bet, will be preached on the topic --- looking for someone to blame.

The lovely thing about the St. Francis prayer is that it shifts a good share of the responsibility for answers from the petitioned to the petitioner. Answer your own prayer, the words suggest. Need peace? Stop making the distinction between right belief and right practice --- and get to work!

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we 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. Amen.

1 comment:

Norm Prince said...

Morning Frank,
There are days I wonder if we might be clones from the same material, yet then after reading the link you offered yesterday I see it is not just you and I. Buddhism continues to be a comfort to me as I separate from the church of my youth, Episcopal. And then today you offer the little pray which I read off a book marker each day after the daily message in print. We are more alike than different and for that I give thanks. I also wish to express my admiration for the way you compose most all of your photos, either in your home or yard, just great and they offer another look at your mind and life.
peace - norm