Lately I find that I constantly have the Prayer of St. Francis running through my head, and perhaps, my soul. It’s a prayer that reminds me of my parents, and I have been thinking of them a lot lately. The prayer in song was a part of my mother’s funeral mass; I remember it well, because it was the moment when I “lost it”. I can’t recall if it was sung at my father’s mass, that seems like so long ago, and such a blur.
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;
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 with all my soul.
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
I believe that my parents, truly tried to live life like this prayer. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure that we had a statue of St. Francis in the back yard, and my parents always enjoyed visiting Graymoor, the home of the Franciscan Sisters and Friars of the Atonement. I remember my sweet Mama always giving me advice and consoling me with phrases like: “’tis better to give than to receive”, “just imagine what must be so wrong in that person’s life to make them act that way. you should feel bad for them”, “if someone asks you to borrow a quarter and you have one to give, you should, and ask them not to pay you back, but to pass it on to the next person who needs it”.
I’m sure that at the time that these words of wisdom were shared with me, my reaction probably included eye rolling and a sigh of “ohhhh mom”. But how blessed am I to have been taught such lessons? Lessons that would come to comfort me at times when I need it most, and to have been raised by parents who truly wanted peace, for everyone.
I know I’ve written before about a desire to connect with and find my faith, my own spiritual path. While my parents were devout Catholics, I have struggled to connect with the Church as of late. I think one thing that I have discovered is, that in my soul, I am drawn to live a life committed to finding and sharing a pathway to peace; much like the ways of St. Francis and my beautiful, loving parents.