A simple judge of character is how you treat a person who can do absolutely nothing for you.
You may or may not have noticed, but I haven’t been very motivated to write my blog lately. It’s been a crazy time getting Kristen back to college and getting ready for the start of my school year. I’ve thought about some good topics but I just haven’t followed through on sharing them with you. Leave it to God to get me going again.
Just yesterday Smitty asked me if I had ever read the “Peace Prayer of St. Francis.” I told him it’s always been one of my favorites, hangs next to my bed and on my desk, was sung at our wedding and at Princess Di’s funeral, and that the statues in our backyard are St. Francis. We talked a little about it all and went about our day.
This morning we go to mass and what’s one of the songs being sung? Yep, the Peace Prayer. Not only that, but the entire homily was about humility, which St. Francis was known for; Pope Francis, who took his name in honor of the saint and who is also known for his humble actions; and even Johnny Manziel who we were told didn’t demonstrate God’s humility during yesterday’s A&M game. It all literally gave me chills and brought me to my knees.
The first part of the “Prayer of St. Francis” reminds us what we should strive to be while the second part reminds us what not to be. In short, Father God help me to sow, or give, faith, hope, forgiveness and love to others and not focus so much on my own struggles and injuries. The secret is doing all of this, we were told in mass, is not just to talk the talk, but to walk the walk. As St. Francis himself is quoted as saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” Do your actions always sow love? Do mine? Lord, please help make me a channel of your peace.
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
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; 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 is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
Today’s readings were also inspiring. We were reminded that we are all “poor” in some way and that only through humility do we achieve true heavenly strength. It’s always important to remember that even rich men need God and scripture encourages us to think of others first and to invite the poor to our tables. This, as we all know, is not always easy. Try as we may, we often fail.
In the book of Sirach we are told: My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God. What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength search not.
And Micah 6:8 teaches us: You have been told what is good and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness and to walk humbly with your God.
As we humbly walked to our car, I noticed a lady carrying a dog. Smitty and I both thought, “who brings a dog to church?” Then it dawned on me, no one would be happier to see that then St. Francis, the lover of animals.
How can one not believe in God and that He is working miracles every day after experiencing all of this? Not me, and hopefully not you.