It was just before this that I came to a living faith in Christ, and my family noticed the changes (argumentative, nonconforming, along with all that pubescent moodiness)[I’m not proud of it]. None the less, my oldest sister gave me a poster of the “Prayer of St. Francis” – a prayer that hung in contradiction to my spiritual beginnings.
I confess it hung there for many years without being understood, or appreciated until I had travelled some distance in spiritual maturity to accept this prayer as my own.
I want to note the line, “Lord, may I not so much seek… to be understood as to understand…” because this is a stream I am in at the moment – the mystery of understanding, the work of it, the cost of it. Can there be a more fitting prayer for our times?
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.
Lord may I not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
Because it is in giving that we receive, in pardoning that we are pardoned.