Daily Word of Grace #27: April 22, 2020
One of my favorite saints is St. Francis of Assisi (died 1226), whose life of voluntary poverty and kindness to all, even animals, left an indelible mark for good on our world. This beautifully and theologically loaded prayer is attributed to him: “Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we 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 pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life” (The Book of Common Prayer 833). Near the beginning of his Sermon on the Mount, the greatest sermon in the history of the world, Jesus proclaimed, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). That prayer of St. Francis shows us what it looks like to be a peacemaker, to be an instrument of peace. Throughout his earthly ministry Jesus was a peacemaker, and then on Good Friday he died as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) to give us peace with God (Romans 5:1)-an instrument of peace on a cosmic scale. You do not have to look long or far around you to see hatred, injury, discord, doubt, despair, darkness, and sadness (perhaps just in a mirror)-but by the power of the Holy Spirit, God may lead you to be a peacemaker like St. Francis, a peacemaker and like Our Savior-to sow love, pardon, union, faith, hope, light and joy where people need it most-to be children of God, instruments of peace. Imagine a world full of peacemakers.
Love and Prayers,