Wednesday, June 1, 2016

spread peace, share God's love


by Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the 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;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Mother Teresa quoted this prayer when she received the Nobel Peace Prize.  She said that this is used each day in their tradition after receiving communion.  Obviously this was her heart and over rode everything she did.

What we might not know is that Mother Teresa had a struggle going on inside of her heart and spirit much of the time.  There were many things in her past, her family and in her community that brought much pain to her inner struggle.  Yet her calling kept her close to the poor of Calcutta, India.  We also need to recognize that Mother Teresa’s passion and example led to thousands of women becoming nuns and serving the poor as she did. 

Take that a step forward, and like me, realize that many people who serve others attribute some of their passion to the example of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.  I am touched by her story, by her selflessly giving of herself to serve others and her choice to choose simplicity so that she could make a bigger difference in the lives of the people, really the poor and hurting, who fill the community in which she lived.

For many years I have known that my calling in live is to call people to use their God given potential and to give a voice to those who cannot speak up for themselves.  It hurts me greatly to see people hurt.

Yesterday I was introduced to a homeless man.  His story grabbed my heart on so many levels.  Some people fall through the cracks of life.  Then some people when they hit bottom make horrible choices. This man’s choices caught up with him, but his heart continues to tell him to look up and to trust God.

In the last few weeks I have been doing more soul searching about the place our church is at and where our family is.  Finding out that the inner struggle Mother Teresa went through and remembering what the Apostle Paul said about his struggle.  It is painful.  It is eye opening.

The further I go the more I want what God wants and less of my old self showing up.  People will be touched by God when we think less about what we want and more about what God wants.  Look at people the way God looks at them. 

Jesus often was seen “moved with compassion” because of what He saw in people.  He saw and felt their pain.  He understood the hurt that life brings our way.  May we be found loving people like Jesus loves and giving the way Jesus gave. 

Re read the prayer above.  I pray that my life will give hope, or as another preacher said, “may we be brokers of hope”.  Further, I pray that our lives will help peace grow around us and in our communities as we share the love of God through acts of random kindness.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

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