Prayer of St, Francis
Dec 11, 2015
Prayer of St. Francis
“An eye for an eye
Will only make the
whole world blind.”
The prayer of St. Francis, the prayer that Alcoholic Anonymous calls the Serenity Prayer, which according to Wikipedia was not penned by St. Francis, but appeared in French in 1912 and was translated and put on the rear of a prayer card to St. Francis around 1920. That is how it is attributed to St. Francis. Be that as it may, this beautiful prayer has generated more discussion and beautiful songs and heartfelt prayers than almost any other prayer outside of the Our Father. St Francis can be proud that it is attached to his name as it deeply reflects how St. Francis lived his life.
I will be writing at least one posting for each line, as our sad world is in dire need of its calming words.
I would like to step away from our world filled with so much fear and look at the life of St Francis and what we should be reflecting as we claim to be a follower of Jesus or the God of our understanding. St Francis, living in the 13th century, lived during the Crusades. He made two trips into the battle zones attempting to convince both sides to sit and talk, that both religions being the off-spring of Abraham need to talk to bring peace, all to no avail, just escaping with his life both times.
So Francis was aware of the pains of this strife, and it is still much the same 800 years later; except 800 years ago it was our Christian religion that demanded that those they conquered either convert or die; and many hundreds of thousands of Muslims died because they refused, from adults to babies. Yes, our Christian religion 800 years ago was very similar to the harsh treatment we see for ISIS today, freely putting others to death for defying the conquering religion of the time.
According to Wikipedia, As a youth, Francesco became a devotee of troubadours and was fascinated with all things Transalpine. Although many hagiographers remark about his bright clothing, rich friends, and love of pleasures, his displays of disillusionment toward the world that surrounded him came fairly early in his life, as is shown in the “Story of the Beggar.” In this account, he was selling cloth and velvet in the marketplace on behalf of his father when a beggar came to him and asked for alms. At the conclusion of his business deal, Francis abandoned his wares and ran after the beggar. When he found him, Francis gave the man everything he had in his pockets.
Thus was born the legend of St. Francis. He lived simply, and had such an aura about him and talked of the simple life; what had caught his attention was the passage from Matthew 19:21; “Jesus said to the young man, ‘if you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ “
At this stage of our world, I believe we need to look at the simple way Francis look at the world, rich and poor alike, animal and human kingdom alike.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate:
Only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King
Questions to Ponder
Has the climate of fear and senseless killing changed your internal feelings towards humanity?
Do you believe that unlimited gun possession will make you safer in light of the 32,000 American gun deaths in 2013, including over 12,000 gun homicides?
What is your reasoning?
“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;
Where 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;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.”
If this meditation has been helpful, I would appreciate it if you would pass it on.