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Every Monday the Journey with Jesus posts a new essay based upon the Biblical Lectionary, a film review, a book review, and a poem or prayer.

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The Journey with Jesus: Poems and Prayers

Selected by Dan Clendenin

Saint Francis of Assisi (1182–1226)

The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And 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 self-forgetting that we find;
And it is in dying to ourselves that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

We do not know the author of this classic prayer, and it was not until the 1920s that it was even ascribed to Saint Francis.  By one account the prayer was found in 1915 in Normandy, written on the back of a card of Saint Francis.  But it certainly emulates his longing to be an instrument of peace, reconciliation and redemption in our fallen world.