For Bright Thursday: The Peace Prayer of St Francis
While the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed and even little Glory Be offer the basic tenets of faith, we can add more to intensify our daily walk with Christ.
More can mean a greater understanding of the church year (as we did last week for Holy Week), but it can also mean additional readings to add to our daily devotions.
Reading through the Bible can be a challenging daily devotion, especially deep into Leviticus or Jeremiah. Supplementing with additional small readings can make the uphill struggle of the laws or the Lamentations bearable.
The Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi is one such addition.
I first encountered this Peace Prayer as a song.
The beauty of this Peace Prayer is its excellent guidance for life. Each line tells us more and more how to live to create a peaceful community around us, all striving for better lives.
Better does not come from more materialism.
Source Questions: Some doubt that St. Francis wrote the prayer, as it is not located in his writings. Parts of it sound like a friend of his. You know what? I don’t care who wrote the Peace Prayer. It is valuable on its own.
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow.
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’s in dying that we are born to eternal life.
More on St. Francis of Assisi is here although Wikipedia will tell you that no known written record of the prayer occurs before 1916. It is often associated with the pacifist movement that developed around WWI and WWII.