Prayer of St. Francis (3)
Dec 16, 2015
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
“Let no man pull you
so low as to hate him.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
This line of the Prayer of St. Francis describes how we are to face hatred and anger in our life.
The spewing of hatred by all sides in the conflicts that are prevalent today makes my head swim. I know the old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” but quite frankly it is so not true. We can heal from sticks and stones; but the wounds of words penetrate deep into our soul to the point that it becomes extremely difficult to remove the pain of words, and can warp our souls to the point of bitterness, cynicism, and fear so that it takes a momentous event to overcome that early training. Thus words of demeaning such as “You are so stupid!”, especially by a parent or one that should be loving them, is so disastrous to a child, and effects their entire life, albeit subconsciously.
Jesus showed us how to face hatred and demolish it by his actions and gentle words, even to the point of hanging from the cross and crying out “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). Jesus was not asking; Jesus was stating the truth: he understood that God Loved them, no matter what they did, and like the father of the prodigal son, forgave them before they had even committed the act.
This command is similar to what Jesus said: “You have heard it said: ‘An eye for and eye, and a tooth for a tooth’. But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him also.” (Matt. 5:39).
I am not saying we should let ISIS or similar tyrants go on with their deeds; no, they must be stopped and made to see that this approach will not achieve anything but their own death; and despite all that we see, the vast majority of them do not want to die and are at an age where they do not think they can die.
This prayer line “Let me sow Love” tell us to approach those that commit great crimes against humanity with the understanding that God loves them at a level that you and I cannot comprehend. So much does God love them, that, like you and me, God created them in the Image of God, and that deep in their being lies the Love of God, but buried among fear and twisted stories that they have lost hope of ever living a life with meaning, and have rested all hope in a dream.
Look into their eyes; look for God that lies within, but also see the dark shadow of despair. Only Love overcomes despair, and it is difficult to understand where the despair comes from. Most times it is brought on by life circumstances that seem so difficult that it brings a person down to their knees; and then it is fostered by unscrupulous minds that further undermine the innate self-confidence that we are born within.
Hatred is not a natural emotion in a human. Love is natural, fostered by parents or others close to them that love them unconditionally. That feeling of being loved early in life sets the tone of a person’s emotional conditioning for the rest of their life. Where unconditional love is lacking, a twisting occurs in the psych that continues on for the rest of their life.
Nest time we will see how Love untwists the early fears and lack of love and can bring someone to see the Light.
“I will permit no man
to narrow and degrade my soul
by making me hate him.”
Booker T. Washington
Questions to Ponder
Do you find yourself with charged feelings towards those that terrorize others?
How would you characterize your feeling?
Could you call it hatred, or only anger?
“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;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.”
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2 thoughts on “Prayer of St. Francis (3)”
The jobless rate all over Europe is incredibly high, particularly among the younger generations (18 – 30) who are supposedly financing our pes.soninGiven these facts, please explain how 300+ million Europeans can believe that it is necessary to import more workers?
the reception of the refugees has nothing to do with importing new workers, and everything to do with compassion of the desperate plight of the refugees. Something that too many in this country forget that is how their ancestors arrived in this country- fleeing from want and terror.