St. Francis and The Work of the People
On this beautiful late summer Friday (at least where I’m writing from ☺), I want to try to bring together two of my great interests: prayer, which I don’t understand but practice anyway; and video, which I think is an incredibly powerful medium for conveying the faith in an experiential, and not just cognitive, way.
To do that – or at least to give a taste of doing that – I’m going to turn to a project exercised by a group of artists I greatly admire called The Work of the People. They’ve created a rather simple video based on the powerful prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. I’ll print the words below; they also appear in the video. My suggestion for using this video would be to simply watch their rendering of Francis’ text with visuals and sounds, allowing yourself to “absorb” the words prayerfully. At the end there’s a prolonged time as the last word, Amen, comes to the fore and the screen fades to black. Knowing that Amen means “truly” or, as Martin Luther translated it, “This is most certainly true,” take a moment during the prolonged Amen to imagine how Francis’ prayer might become more true in your own life. How – right now, today, where you are – might you be an instrument for peace or sow love, hope, and faith?
I’ve found this kind of brief contemplative prayer and call to personal action meaningful, and I hope it’s helpful for you as well. Blessings on your weekend
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. Amen.
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