A month ago, we celebrated the day that is set aside each year to remember St. Francis of Assisi. His Feast Day is always October 6th. He loved animals as part of God’s Creation. The way we celebrate St. Francis’ Day where I am, is to host a Blessing of the Animals. People bring their beloved pets and participate in a service that we conduct in our church courtyard. In one part of that liturgy, I lay my hands on each animal and give them a blessing.
There is a prayer that is associated with St. Francis. You may be familiar with it. I pray it every morning as part of my morning devotion. It’s a lovely prayer. If we were to successfully spring it into being in our own life, we would be one of the saints, for sure.
But it’s so packed with difficult challenges that few of us attain even a small part of it consistently. Living that prayer becomes more difficult when we have been spiritually or emotionally wounded. In effect, when we pray this prayer, we ask to love and forgive our enemies, when our emotionality may not be ready to even contemplate such a thing.
Nevertheless, if we want to be truly healed from our own hurt, the challenge of loving and forgiving our enemies is precisely what we will run into sooner or later. Will we be ready to do that when it comes?
Here’s the Prayer of St. Francis. See if you can take just one idea, one phrase from this prayer into your own prayer and intentionally desire it in your own life.
The Prayer of St. Francis:
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.
And remember, you are awesome! God holds you in the palm of his hand.
2020 © Dorothy Gremillion
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