Saint Francis of Assisi

Dear God, make me an instrument of your peace,st-francis-of-assisi-regina-ammerman
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 God, 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.

St. Francis was born at Assisi in 1182. After a care free youth, he turned his back on inherited wealth and committed himself to God. Like many early saints, he lived a very simple life of poverty, and in so doing, gained a reputation of being the friend of animals.  He established the rule of St Francis, which exists today as the Order of St. Francis, or the Franciscans. He died in 1226, aged 44.

The yin and yang of this most simple yet powerful prayer is beautiful. As a Rabbi and Spiritual Counselor, I always choose to remove “religion” from all prayers and find the beauty in the content that unites us rather than the doctrine and dogma that divides us. Whether Jesus, Buddha, Jehovah, Adonai, Elohim, El, Kurios, Theos, Christ, Alpha, Omega and Redeemer or any other name is how you address the God of your understanding, it is clear to me that all faiths lead us to the values and principles of St. Francis and numerous other great theologians.

Imagine if you would how the world we live in would be different were we to dedicate our lives to the principles of this prayer. I know how different my life has become since I was blessed with the capacity to give to others through love, pardon, belief, hope, light and joy. I carry this prayer along with others, on my person at all times so I can always re-focus should my patience and tolerance of others leave me when needed most.

My prayer for you today is that you find meaning in the wisdom of St. Francis and not allow your religious views to disconnect you from his love.

 

Hugs and Blessings,
Rabbi Mitch

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