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,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
The above poem is attributed to St Francis of Assisi, that saint of many tales. Most people realise he is the patron saint of animals but he’s also the patron saint of the environment now, putting his appeal more widely. The Canticle of the Sun is a lovely example of how we are all intertwined and connected, with the natural world and how each part is needed.
The reason I have posted this is because I needed a reality check for myself. I have said on occasions that one of the reasons I write is in the hope that in doing so I will be understood. In reality, I need to understand more than I need to be understood. I have been thinking about Francis for some days now and thinking about how I live my life. I need to remember also that “it is in giving that I receive” but what Francis doesn’t say(because maybe to him this is self-evident) that you must not give SO THAT you shall receive. A gift is a gift; once you give it, it is gone. You cannot give freely believing that in doing so you will receive.
It’s like the whole Hundredth Monkey thing. No one can know if they are the final piece in the jigsaw, and deciding that one is that piece is a surefire way to temporary insanity. Give or act because it is the right thing to do, not because you think it is going to assure you a place in history or a tenfold return. It’s this inherent selfishness that is what distorted a lot of good teachings and what made theories(like that of THE SECRET) so unstable and unusable.
The wind blows where it will, and like it, the Holy Spirit is untrammelled by our agendas and selfish desires.