Sober since April 6, 2006


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

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.

Saint Francis of Assisi wrote this prayer in the 13th century.

But I think it's more than a prayer -- it's also an attitude and a way of overcoming our own pain, depression, hopelessness, and anxiety. I don't have to feel happy to make others feel happy. I don't have to feel hopeful to make others feel hopeful. But when I try to make others feel happy and hopeful, I start to feel happy and hopeful too. The difficult part is remembering to try even when I'm "not feeling it". I'm the worst of the worst when it comes to that.

The striking mystery is that when we are genuinely unable to find hope for ourselves, we are somehow miraculously able to find hope for others.

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