Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
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.
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.
I've been reciting this prayer for a while now - in my morning meditation and in the evening. Praying it, and truly thinking about what it says and what it means.
It really directs the attention away from one's self to others - to looking at my own problems and trusting that they will be taken care of, and actively searching to how I can relieve the burdens of those around me.
What a challenge this is! I must put aside my needs and have faith that they will be met somehow, someway, and instead look at acquaintances, friends, and family to give them love, comfort, consolation, and joy.
I remember reading a yoga sutra about vows, and how you have to be seriously mean a vow because the MOMENT you make it, the vow will be challenged. And this prayer has already brought me a huge opportunity/challenge. This is something I may write about later as I see if it comes to fruition, but leave it at this - this opportunity would go to my love of teaching literacy. No money attached to it, but service? Yes, there is a rich service and all the rewards that come from telling myself that someone else is more vulnerable, more important, and deserving of attention.
These past 10 months have brought remarkable changes and not just physical. There have been ups and downs in my heart and head as I've traveled an emotional and spiritual path to peace.
Maybe it's time to use those new found emotional and spiritual muscles to do some good.
Maybe it's time for the spotlight to be on someone else.
Maybe, just maybe, it's time for me to move out of the center and be happy to let someone else grow, learn, and thrive.
So if you are a praying person or a sending out good thoughts person, I'd appreciate either as I watch this opportunity unfold. I'm not expecting anything wonderful immediately, but I'm deeply touched that the possibility was even rolled my way.
No matter what, I choose joy and all the good that comes with it.
Thoughts to take with me today: Opportunities come from unusual places. Listen with your heart.