Thursday, July 2, 2009

Friends Meeting, Part 1

On the fifth Tuesday of June, the Society of Friends met to share poems, stories, and prayers.

I said I'd share some of them on the blog, so here goes.

Louise told us about her father whom she loved and who clearly loved her. She shared the Prayer of St. Francis which was printed on a card and distributed at her father's memorial service. Louise carries the Prayer of St. Francis with her wherever she goes. It comforts her.

It goes like this:

The Prayer of St. Francis

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

(This prayer comforts me, too. I memorized it 26 years ago when I went to weekly classes offered by Eknath Easwaran who recommended this prayer for meditation. Reciting the Prayer of St. Francis is a part of my daily meditation practice. Sometimes, at night, if I wake up with a worried mind, I repeat this prayer silently and slowly to myself. It often returns me to blissful sleep.)


Margaret Pangert said...

This is one of my favorite prayers; it brings such peace to me. That's a lovely image of St. Francis. I have two statues of him--one in the front and one in the back--and they have birds and squirrels and little baskets where I put flowers, and I make sure he's near a birdbath . . The expression on his face is enough to bring me serenity.

Sarah Lulu said...

Dan, that is also my favourite prayer. I carry wherever I go too.

I read it at my daughter's wedding.

And it's the 11th step prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous.

See you in a week or so ...the internet will be cut off some time this morning.

Going to start carrying boxes to the new house very soon.

Delwyn said...

Hi Dan

you have hit on a favourite of us all...

I used to say this before counselling a client as it seemed such a perfect invocation for that situation.

Happy days

Dan Gurney said...

Margaret, Sarah Lulu, and Delwyn—

It's very encouraging to know that this is such a well-known and cherished prayer. Let's all pass it around and encourage more people to try it. Imagine how much more pleasant our world would be if everyone you met was holding this prayer in mind as they navigate the day!

Alden Smith (Nick name - Pal) said...

I visited Asissi and saw Saint Francis's tomb in 2006 in the church of St Francis. It is an interesting and very beautiful place. I will never forget waking up there (staying in the old monks quarters now a hotel) opening the shutters on the old windows and gazing out onto the sun sorched Umbrian Plains and hearing the birds singing in the trees - a wonderful place to be.

steven said...

hi dan, it is beautiful and thoughtful writing. it gathers together much of what i wish for my presence in this world and for others. have a peaceful day ~ steven

Dan Gurney said...

Alden, you're a lucky guy to have traveled so much. St. Francis is one of my favorites. I feel lucky to live close to the city in California that's named after him.