Friday, October 3, 2008

St. Francis' Prayer

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,
not so much to be understood as to understand,
not so much 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 that we awake to eternal life.

- St. Francis of Assisi

(Artwork: Peace on Earth by Renie Britenbucher)


leah sophia said...

What a wonderful picture! I love St. Francis and that prayer (and may play Friday 5 later on). But for now I have my own prayer request:

Please, please, please try to understand! I've spent most of the past 16 years trying to do approximately the same ministry I did professionally, and when do you say the call no longer exists? It's not simply about gifts, education, desire and experience but also about those necessary opportunities to express the call. It has been longer than 16 years since I've had a community of support and embrace, friends to mirror how I'm doing and to hold me accountable and responsible for stewardship of my life. I prepared for a life of service to the world and to the church; I observe people online and in real life doing the ministry I prepared to do and still feel called to do, but almost as often I hear of gifted, accomplished people being considered a threat, getting treated badly, routinely excluded and similar (you know). There's a lot of background and history I'm not revealing, but not only did my phone never start ringing again, in my many attempts to contact and connect with people for whom I truly could be a tremendous asset, I've been demeaned and dismissed, typically with "I don't have time for this." For sure my experiences would have been different in Cambridge or Berkeley, but I need to overcome this paralyzing grief, this sense of near-total loss of self and find some way to move on. In addition, I've been physically ill over all of this for several years now and often try convincing myself I'm not important enough for anyone to be concerned, though I also realize that's not biblical. Thanks so much...hugs and hope!

Mary Beth said...

Praying, Leah Sophia!!

Please pray for my colleague Dotty, who has learned that she has endometrial adenocarcinoma. She will have surgery within the month and be out of work a month and half at least.

Given all the recent change in our workplace, this is an especially bad time for this for her. Thanks.

Deb said...

Leah Sophia-
I do understand what you are feeling and thinking. I started seminary... then stopped because I was told by an elder that "women don't become pastors"... then was on a church staff and was burned out by the nastiness... finally went back to seminary and have been slapped upside the head again by sexism.

I will pray for you, as I am for myself, for healing, for perseverance, and for glimpses of God when things just seem bleak.

I don't know what is ahead for me. God knows. And until then, I want to be an instrument in God's Hands... one of peace and wisdom.

And since that's your "middle name" I believe you will have the wisdom you need to make your next steps...


Deb said...

Oh. P.S. If you have never read Henri Nouwen's Road to Daybreak I encourage you to do so. I have found it, again and again, a way to clarify my emotions and thoughts...


leah sophia said...

Thanks, everyone--Deb, I noticed your earlier, longer post a couple days ago and have been praying persistently for you. Yes, I've read Nouwen's Road to Daybreak, but thanks for referring me to it again. Peace, everyone!

Mother Laura said...

Oh, dear Leah, so sorry that this pain goes on...and honored and impressed that you reached out to share it with us. I know that blocked path to ministry so well...Prayers for sure.