Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Friday, October 4, 2013

Channeling peace this Friday

I started my day as I normally do: I checked my email, floated over to Facebook to see what is happening on my newsfeed and then over to the 15 or so news sites I normally peruse. But my direction shifted when my “Unapologetically Episcopalian” postingnoted that Oct. 4 commemorates St. Francis of Assisi. Along with the text posting, Unapologetically Episcopalian linked to a videoof “Make me a channel of your peace,” also known as the Prayer of St. Francis, sung by the Choir of Chester Cathedral, England from the album “Sing for Joy - Cathedral Praise 2.”

The music put me in a different frame of mind today and sent me on a search for the text, or lyrics, for the music. As it turns out, the history of the prayer and the music, are interesting and, according to Wikipedia in a well-sourced article, the attribution to St. Francis came hundreds of years after his death. So obviously, several versions of the original prayer and the lyrics exist, with one version of the song on YouTube showing the lyrics as the tune is sung clearly. I am particularly touched by this today, and so I also sought the wording for this prayer in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church in the United States being:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is
hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where
there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where
there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where
there is sadness, joy. Grant that we 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.

Does that mean the news and behavior of some politicians out there aren’t bad enough to rile me up? Yes and no, but in the spirit of trying to channel peace, I am going to express sadness at the tone of the battle for the hearts and minds of the American people.

I have things to say and I’ll be back later.