Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lord Make me an Instrument of your Peace

Korean Catholics are familiar with, and enjoy reciting, the prayer for Peace of St. Francis of Assisi. A Catholic Times' columnist also finds the prayer consoling and reminds us of the well-known words:

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.
Oh 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.

Today, there are many who have difficulty experiencing peace. We tend to be easily upset and angered; hateful and fearful thoughts are common. And not only among those without belief but among Christians as well. Because of the difficult times nowadays, many are living lives without much peace and joy. 

The columnist believes that  without experiencing pain and the tribulations of life one will not know real joy. He compares life to a long journey, a marathon. When one puts off running because of some perceived difficulty, such as the wind, cold, heat, rain or storms, one does not relish the joy that comes at the end of the race.

Jesus reminded us that his peace is not like that given by the world. "Peace, is my farewell to you. My peace is my gift to you. I do not give it to you as the world gives peace" (John 14:27). It is a life lived with him. It is transcending our present conditions: not forgetting our difficulties but facing them with Jesus.

Existence gives off its own fragrance, and a proper attitude toward life makes that fragrance ours; our life history and vision will become our future and our ideals. Living today fully is what is important: to be thankful for the day, and to do all in our power to live each moment completely will bring us peace.