In 2006, I began a new path in my faith journey in a time that seemed riddled with challenges and questions. All at once, it seemed as if God was coming to me from ever direction, and she wasn’t taking “Let’s give it some time” for an answer. [I am sure she had a good laugh at my expense.] I turned toward the light, let go of Caution and began to hold hands with Faith. While many times, I’ve felt like I’m on the road less traveled, I have never been tempted to turn back.
And so, during those initial days, I found myself being surrounded by signs guiding me on my way. One of the most cherished is this old, small prayer “book” I found in a small booth at an antique mall. Made of wood, when closed it appears to be a book, but when opened, becomes a small icon decorated with the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. It has traveled with me through many life events and has become the centerpiece of the wall altar in my bedroom. It has caught warm tears of sadness and heard quiet whispers of thanksgiving.
I’m sharing it today not only for what it has symbolized in my life but because it seems to capture some of the key facets of Advent that we prepare for throughout this month. As the title given here notes, it is a simple prayer. But it is one that has touched my soul, even when no other words could fill the emptiness or lighten the darkness.
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;
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.