Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The little Gem from La Clochette
ONE OF MY FAVORITE VERSIONS
Mother Teresa and the Roman Catholic religious order she established, the Missionaries of Charity, begin each day by reciting this PRAYER OF St. FRANCIS. It is attributed to St. Francis but did not appear in print until 1912 when it was published in a French magazine called La Clochette (The Little Bell); it was translated to English circa 1936 and popularized by Cardinal Francis Spellman and Sen. Hawkes during WWII when millions of copies were sent to servicemen and women all over the world.
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.
St. Francis was born at Assisi, Italy in 1182. After a care free youth, he turned his back on inherited wealth and committed himself to God. Like many early saints, he lived a very simple life of poverty, and in so doing, gained a reputation of being the friend of animals. He is said to have begun the practice of nativity scenes with live animals. He established the rule of St Francis, which exists today as the Order of St. Francis, or the Franciscans. He died in 1226, aged 44.