What You Can Do Right Now to Make a Difference, a Tonic for Our Times

The following I suspect needs very little prologue, for as Shakespeare said, “the past is prologue,” (check the news, old and new), and as Flannery O’Connor said, “the violent bear it away.”

” Things fall apart, the center will not hold” (W.B. Yeats).

We need a miracle to save the day and our planet, the ground beneath our feet, the air we breathe, the food we eat, our source of all good things, including  joy, love, hope in a better future for our children, the fulfillment of our lives, the very living of the lives given us.

And the world is thus  in urgent need of saints and heroes, inspired leadership to bring this to pass. Time is short, the writing is on the wall for those who have the wit and focus to see it and understand.

So please pray believing with me tonight an old time-tested prayer that is always answered, never fails and is guaranteed to make a difference.

 

PRAYER    OF    ST.    FRANCIS

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;

It is in Dying that we are Born   again  to  Eternal Life.

About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger. Follow me on Twitter @LangstaffEditor
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6 Responses to What You Can Do Right Now to Make a Difference, a Tonic for Our Times

  1. Lonie Fulgham says:

    Thank you for introducing this to me. I really love this line in particular, “To be Consoled as to Console; to be Understood as to Understand;”

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  2. I know and the staggering truth of the apparent inherent paradox and contradiction in the prayer is that by living that way one receives precisely the understanding and consolation and peace one so desperately wants and needs.

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  3. elisendana says:

    Yes, but I wouldn’t consider it a paradox. It doesn’t say that you don’t seek it…but that you ‘may not so much seek’…’May emphasizes probability’. St.Francis knows Man to be weak, to be in constant need, a Man tied up with the need of affection. Again, ‘so much’ is letting the door open to…’you may seek it, I’m sure you will, since you are human, but try not to seek it ‘all the time’. I think St.Francis’ deep understanding of human capability is what gives this prayer its grandeur. No wonder the Pope decided to call himself after him. Big hug. Anna.

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    • Yes, the paradox is apparent in the most limited human way of understanding, but is not real in The Larger Scheme of things 🙂 Pope Francis is clearly inspired and has had a vision of what it is going to take to get “the mule out of the ditch,” and back on the high road to the greater good in the eyes of God.

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  4. Great comment. Yes, yes. Haha, God doesn’t speak in riddles (or intellectual puzzles or “put that in your pipe and smoke it” paradoxes) and neither did St. Francis 🙂 “Our God is not a god of confusion.” –St. Paul.

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