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by: Chad O'Leary
My life changed immediately following our Ash Wednesday service at St. Christopher's in 2018. I had just gotten home to receive a message that my grandmother had passed away that hour. A devoted woman of faith her whole life, we joked in our family that she decided that she wasn't going to participate in a 100th Lent -- and God couldn't argue. My grandmother was a woman of deep prayer and quiet service. She loved her God and that love compelled her to make the world a better place for her neighbors. Much of the time behind the scenes. As we enter into this season of prayer and giving, I would like to share my grandmother's favorite prayer with you: the Prayer of St. Francis. I think that it is a good prayer for Lent, reminding us that there is so much to "take on" in this world -- rather than "give up" -- and the peace that we seek comes from granting that same peace to others. I think that the way that she lived her life, and this prayer that she recited daily, speak to the essence of this Lenten season and what we are called to do not only over the next 40 days but ALL days of our lives.
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.