Prayer of St. Francis (19)

Jan 26, 2016

Prayer of St. Francis (19)

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be understood as to understand (3)

“Let us make humans in our Likeness…
And so God created humanity in God’s own image,
In the image of God, God created them,
Male and Female God created them.”
                                      Genesis 1:26

We will continue to look at the prayer of St. Francis that states that understanding others is the key to removing loneliness and seeing the face of God in others. Understanding all others would perhaps even lead to peace on earth.

The Face of God

You are created in the Image of God. Look at the next person you see: they are created in the Image of God. The person you hurry past in the street; the passed out drunk that lies in the alley; each is created as a unique Face of God. We were made to be an independent Face of God, but we seem apart from all else; but in truth since we are, each of us, a Face of God, a distinct Image of our Creator, our Beloved, and the more we can understand another and become friends in spirit, the more we lower the barriers between us, and become, as Jesus said, “that they may all be one, just as You and I are one –as You are in me, Father, and I am in You” (John 17:21). We become Who We Really Are, removing the wall that prevents us from being whole: joined with others to broaden the Face of God in our world. Our world is in so very much pain because each of us have erected walls around our personal selves that prevent the revelation of the Face of God that is Me, You.
One of the purposes of Life is to learn to Love as God loves. God loves each of us unconditionally, and the principle task we have in life is to learn to love one another unconditionally. This kind of love (and trust) seems almost unnatural, because we have walled up so much of our life to prevent all others from seeing Who We Are, as we seem to be ashamed of Who We Are, and not thanking God for the Gift of Life that we each share with one another, demanding quid pro quo, tit for tat.
Revealing the Face of God that is ours alone, and seeing the Face of God that is another’s alone, is only accomplished by sharing our stories and our life with one another, to see the soul of the other in their face and bearing.
The gift of this line of the Prayer of St. Francis is the key to inner peace and joy, knowing we are not alone, but are joined by the common thread of our humanity, all being made in the Image of God. When we learn to understand another human, we learn the secret of finding the missing piece of life: we are not alone. This yearning to be not alone is a gift from our Beloved. Our God is not a singularity; no, by the very words of God “Let us make humans in our Likeness…” God is expressing Itself as the Gift of Love; and Love is not a singular term but requires at least two. And so we have all of Life in the universe to see God as God, Loving all as Itself and the Other at the same time. Seems strange, but the commandment of Jesus: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31) spells it out: you cannot love your neighbor, the purpose of this line of the prayer, until you love yourself and accept who you are right now, right here.
As Abraham Lincoln said, quoted in the last post, “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” (Abraham Lincoln). Our world would be a much better place if we would listen, truly listen with our heart and soul, the way the Jesus said, to those we call “enemies’, and destroy them with friendship and love, as God intended, so that ‘all may be one’, as Jesus said.
Next we will look at the next set of paired lines, O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek, To be loved as to love.

“that they may all be one,
just as you and I are one –
as You are in me, Father,
and I am in You”
                                  John 17:21

Questions to Ponder

Look carefully at how you relate to those around you; first your family, then your companions in life at church or other gathering place, then your co-workers, then your neighbors, then a stranger that you meet, then a stranger that you pass in the street.
What is your internal reaction to each of these individuals? Are you willing to try to understand each individual if the opportunity arises? Truly understand how and why they feel like they do?


“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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