Dear Friends,

We hope that you are safe and well.

 Today's Meditation is a reflection on St Francis of Assisi and his Peace Prayer.

We invite you to join us as we commit ourselves to working tirelessly to end systemic and structural racism in our society, in the church, in healthcare, in the workplace--wherever it shows up so that everyone may come to have more abundant life. May this meditation nourish our contemplative-active hearts and sustain all of us in action.

In the spirit of our philosophy of co-creating community and our awareness that the Spirit speaks through each of us, we invite you to share your meditations with us as well. We truly believe that it is God's economy of abundance: when we share our blessings, our thoughts, our feelings, we are all made richer.

We hope and pray that you find peace, healing, hope and the infusion of joy in your life!

With our love and care, Ron and Jean

MEDITATION 794: The Prayer of St Francis of Assisi

Blessed Among Us

St. Francis of Assisi

Founder, Friars Minor (1182–1226)

As the Christian whose life most closely calls to mind the example of Christ, Francis of Assisi is one of the few saints widely honored beyond the boundaries of the Catholic Church. The son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, he spent his youth in frivolous enjoyment. But a series of harsh experiences, including war, captivity, and sickness, turned his heart from worldly ambitions. A breakthrough in his life came when he kissed a leper whom he met on the road. Afterward he took to emptying his father’s warehouse to give to the poor. When his father publicly upbraided him, he stripped off his own fine clothes and vowed henceforth to recognize no other father but God in heaven.

While praying before a crucifix in a ruined chapel, Francis heard a voice commanding him to “repair” the Church. At first he took this quite literally, setting about rebuilding old church buildings. But in time he repaired the Church in a more profound way. Attracting followers, he launched a new order, the Friars Minor, who, in their strict faithfulness to the Gospel—seeking out the poor, the sick, the marginalized, embracing poverty and nonviolence—turned the values of their society upside down. In his life and in his relationship with the world, Francis represented the breakthrough of a new model of human and cosmic community. His last years were marked by terrible suffering, including the wounds of the cross on his hands and feet. He died on October 3, 1226. His feast day is October 4.

“Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death. . . . Happy those she finds doing your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them.”—St. Francis of Assisi

Peace Prayer of Saint Francis

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,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.