Seek First to Understand
As we end this tumultuous year, I thought the Prayer of St. Francis, also known as the Prayer of Peace, was an appropriate way to gain perspective on the past year and to contemplate the coming year.
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.”
This prayer was read in the United States Senate to mark the end of World War II. Mother Teresa included the prayer in her acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. It was sung as a hymn at the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997.
May we embrace its message to help us find the courage to take many small steps in 2018.
A thank you to my friend AJ Pfander who inspired me to use this prayer.