Prayer of St. Francis (29)
Feb 21, 2016
Prayer of St. Francis (29)
It is in dying to self that we are born
To eternal life.
“Whoever finds their life
Will lose it, and whoever loses
Their life for my sake will find it.”
Dying to Self
The Prayer of St. Francis is explicit in this last line: we are asked to die to our self, our Ego, and expresses the meaning of the words 0f Jesus on the matter. To die or transition is easy, a momentary act; to die to the self, our ego, is a lifetime effort that never stops.
When we learn to die to the desires of our ‘self’, the demands of our ego, it is then that we discover our Self, that part of us that is “the Kingdom of God that is within”. It is this part of our being that is the expression of God, our very own Kingdom of God that Jesus talked about, otherwise called the Self, yes, capitalized, as it is the expression of God that is ours alone, what I have called the unique Face of God that only you or I can reveal in our own unique way, shown to the world we inhabit. That is the meaning of this final line that sums up the Prayer of St. Francis. Notice that it does not say ‘dying from self’, but ‘dying to self’. Perhaps a clearer expression of the meaning would have been ‘It is in dying from self (ego) that we are born into the eternal life of Self (Kingdom of God).’ This version of ‘Self” is the naked core of Who We Are, that part that is eternal and never changing.
Jesus spoke of the same thing in the quote from Mathew that opens up this post. Jesus starts off by saying “Whoever finds their life Will lose it,” that is, whoever lives off their ego will fail to find that Kingd0m of God that is within, and then goes on to say, “and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” which can be translated to say that whoever loses their egoic center finds the Eternal Life, or their soul (the Self), that “Kingdom that lies within”.
We humans are complex beings, being, as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin stated, “A spiritual being having a physical experience, and not a physical being having a spiritual experience.” Our physical senses see only the physical part of our essence, while our inner part, our mind, can learn to bridge the gap between the physical and that Kingdom that is within, and see with our inner eye. But that inner life, which was often clear to us as young children when the ego was small, but as we grew older and our ego becomes stronger and then too often takes over our lives, becomes not only fogged and too often a wall that prevents us from seeing (or sensing with our feelings) that eternal part of our being that we call the soul, but Jesus called the Kingdom of God.
We are called to become greater than we ever thought possible: we are called “to be like angels”, that is, we are called to see and live in the “Kingdom of God that is within.”
“What people need to remember
Is that they are eternal beings
And that they never die.”
Questions to Ponder
How do we see ourselves? Do we often encounter that “Kingdom of God that is within” in our daily lives?
How do we increase that magic glimpse of the Super-Reality that is that inner Kingdom that Jesus talked about throughout his ministry?
Can we begin (or increase) out touch-tone times with that inner reality that is the only Eternal Reality?
“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 post has been helpful, I would appreciate it if you would pass it on or share it.