The Feast Day of St. Francis

We celebrate St. Francis for his gentleness, remembering the stories of his preaching to the birds, taming the wolf, blessing the animals. But there was much more to his life.

The Peace Prayer

attributed to St. Francis
although it was not written by St. Francis, this simple prayer reflects his faith and his life.

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; 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; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

Photo of a flower

Reflection by Deborah Beach Giordano
October 10, 2016

An Open Letter to the Saint of Assisi

Oh, dear Saint Francis,
you have no idea
what you did
by taking Christ’s Gospel
literally;

alarming
the clergy,
terrorizing
the comfortable,
disrupting
the system;

St. Francisstirring
trouble,
roiling the waters,
turning reality
upside down
doing handstands
on street corners;

clad in tattered clothes
reeling drunkenly
through the town
intoxicated
by the wine dark
blood
of the Lamb.

You were a fool
for Christ,
behaving
as if our faith
genuinely mattered;
as if Jesus of Nazareth
were truly
the Son
of God.

Following the Lord
you led others
out of the darkness,
away from confusion,
and guided them
into
the Light.

The misfits,
the model citizens,
the frightened,
the fearless,
the rich,
the poor,
male and female
all were welcome
at the Table
you had set

and God
was there
in the midst
of it all.

Yet always
you were searching,
seeking
and yearning
for perfect union
with the Lover
of your Soul;
roaming the valleys
watching from the hilltops,
praying,
waiting,
longing
to be called
home.

When you departed,
your soul rose
to the heavens
like perfumed incense
in the autumn air;
a worthy offering
to the Lord Above.

Even in death
the fragrance
lingered;
your life
remembered,
your little sayings
gathered,
saved
like flowers
pressed
between the pages
of a book.

   

Virtual hugs and real-time blessings,

Deborah

Suggested Spiritual Exercise

Pray the Peace Prayer (in the left-hand column of this page) every day for one week.