Prayer of St. Francis (7)
Dec 27, 2015
Prayer of St. Francis (7)
Where there is doubt, faith
“All the world is made of
faith, and trust, and pixie dust.
M. Barrie, Peter Pan
We are looking at the line of the Prayer of St. Francis that invokes us to encourage others despite their (and our) lack of faith.
Fear and lack of trust consume so much of our world. A good friend of mine has stated many times he trusts no one except maybe his immediate family. Then he suffered a heart attack in his 60’s, and wondered why. The stress level that the simple statement that “I trust no one” implants inside the person is fantastic. I shudder at the implication: always having to look with suspicion at whatever someone says; always wondering what they really meant; always having to be on your toes looking for hidden meanings …. and on and on.
It is always better to trust someone until they have proven by several actions that they cannot be trusted; and even then we should be willing to let it go until they have once again proven misplaced trust. I have been the recipient of trust an unbelievable number of times, and I can appreciate how that acts in my own life. That is a story for another time.
Personal doubt and mistrust is not what this line is about though. The entire prayer is devoted to giving from oneself to help the world to achieve relief from pain, especially emotional pain. How do we help others whose life has been crushed and they are filled with doubt, especially self-doubt?
We, you and I, are the chosen ambassadors in this realm of physicality, our planet earth. If we are to show somebody in pain how to have trust and faith, we must show trust and faith first in and to the person who is in pain. Our task, given to us by the very reading of this meditation, and our acceptance by our recitation (with meaning) of the Prayer of St. Francis, is to be that instrument of God in our world that expresses so much pain. Our task is to bring our optimism in the goodness of our Divine Wisdom to help those who see only darkness and loss.
First we are to bring faith to those who are lost in the swamps of life. Bringing faith is not a simple task to say a few words and then to head off in another direction; no, it requires us to listen to what troubles another, and to listen carefully to see the root problem. Often it is a lack of faith in the goodness of life itself. There are so many areas we can help others to see the joys of life just by looking at nature and the persistence in life throughout nature.
Look at a weed sitting in a crack in the sidewalk. I am always amazed seeing life always trying to assert itself no matter how difficult. Nature knows faith probably better than any other example in our universe. Over 4 billion years ago, in some hot, steaming mist lying in the carbon dioxide soup that was the atmosphere then, consisting mostly of carbon dioxide and very little oxygen, life was born. It took a few billion years before life was sufficiently complex that it created forms that could take that carbon dioxide in as food, and then release it’s byproduct of oxygen. Then it took another billion years or more for that oxygen be used by life to create a life form that used the oxygen to create a life form that took in the oxygen as food and expelled it’s byproduct of, you guessed it, carbon dioxide, creating the circle of life we have today between plants and animals, including humanity.
Life is the exuberance of God creating more complex forms, aiming at some 4 billion years in the future when a creature could eventually ask the question “Why?” and move forward to become the complex person humanity is today; even though still a child groping for meaning.
The next post will examine this further.
“Have enough courage to trust
one more time
and always one more time.”
Questions to Ponder
Look at the statement: You are the face of God. Look in a mirror and study your eyes, and look at the face of God that is you. Look deep and see the universe looking back. How does that appear to you?
Can you accept the call from God to be the Face of God to others? Recite the Prayer of St. Francis as your reply.
“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.”
If this meditation post has been helpful, I would appreciate it if you would pass it on or share it.