Prayer of St. Francis (18)

Jan 24, 2016

Prayer of St. Francis (18)

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be understood as to understand (2)

“Do I not destroy my enemies
when I make them my friends?”
                                  Abraham Lincoln

Understanding Another

I will continue the talk about listening to and understanding another being a blessing to both yourself and the other person.
One of the foremost impacts on a person’s life is to fall in love. I remember when I started to date my wife of over 50 years, we had very long dates (the first two were 12 and 18 hours), and we talked and talked and talked. By the third date I knew I had found the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life being with, and it scared me half to death. (But that is a different story.) But both of us just wanted to find out more and more about one another, and as time went on that talking became the norm. Even now we like to share something that we learn, often turning to one another and sharing.
Learning about another is the key to erasing loneliness. Only when we can remove the “I-Thou” feeling and arrive at a “We” feeling, does the feeling of separation begin to diminish. I was recently visiting a friend of mine at his home, where he lives with his wife of over 70 years. She has had a stroke that prevents some motion, and has a loss of speech. But they sit in matching chairs, side by side, obviously still deeply in love, pointing out things of interest as they can. The feeling of “We” is strong, and the decrease in there being two separate lives is greatly diminished, as they live in support of one another. That did not happen by chance, and for over 70 years they have shared together, and it is a vibrant sense alive in the room when in the presence of their company.
We all have an internal being that feels the loneliness that is ours, as we can not really join with another person in truth, but by sitting and sharing thoughts it is amazing the bond that can be established. That bond has a simple name: Friendship. We never know when we meet another if there is a potential friend or not, and it can not have a chance to ripen into friendship if we do not take the time to listen to one another, and share our thoughts and feelings. That sharing is the “Understanding” that this line in the prayer is pointing towards.
One of the deepest longings in the human psyche is to somehow find a way out of the loneliness that is inherent in the human condition. We find ourselves alone when we entered this plane of existence, and we will find ourselves alone when we leave. This sense of loneliness drives us to find another to share our life with, and the physical union of woman and man is the closest we can become to being a single unit. We reach bliss; then it fades and life once again inserts itself and our loneliness returns. Perhaps not as strongly, but it does return.
Only when we reach into the eternal union that resides within, the Eternal Wisdom that is ours to share at any time, can we truly erase our loneliness; but this line, a call to Understand another, is a way to find that bliss in the God that is present in the other, as our dual Image of the Creator.
I will continue this discussion in the next post.

“Friendship is the only cure for hatred,
the only guarantee of peace.”
                                 Gautama Buddha

Questions to Ponder

Look at the person you consider your closest friend. Do you spend the time to learn what their deepest dream is about? Their greatest fear? Their most challenging task in life?
Be a friend and ask.
The Listen, carefully, reading the body language as well as hearing the words.


“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.

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My God has led me on an 80 year jaunt to ever more wondrous beauty. I am led to share this journey and gifts of God that have been showered upon me, not just for me but for whoever God brings into my path.

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