Solitude & St. Francis

by Jonathan Bailey

I am currently reading ‘Life of the Beloved’ by Henri Nouwen and I am enjoying the practical examples he gives in his pursuit of following Jesus. Let me share it with you now.

“Learn a sacred text by heart and repeat it slowly in the mind, word by word, sentence by sentence.” 

Carve out 30 minutes his week and find a quiet/alone place and repeat in your mind the prayer of St. Francis. It is an amazing prayer and you probably will recognize it when you read it. Jot it down in your journal or on a note card and carry it with you to your solitary place. 

Now as you sit there, just slowly read the prayer, don’t try to memorize it. Just think about every word and what it would mean in our lives if we were transformed into this. Below is the prayer (courtesy of wikipedia).

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy 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.