Make Me A Channel Of Peace
Updated: Feb 9
"Start by doing what's necessary, then do what's possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
Saint Francis was an Italian Catholic friar, deacon, mystic and preacher. He was canonized as a saint on July 16, 1228. During his life he also developed a deep love of nature and is known as the patron saint of the environment and animals. His life and words have had a lasting resonance with millions of followers across the globe.
The Prayer of St. Francis has been embedded in my mind since I was a young child. Today, as an adult spiritual seeker, I understand that this resonant impression is a jewel and great teaching. The anonymous text is often referred to as, "The Peace Prayer" and its message is one for us all.
"Lord make me an instrument/channel 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. 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 and 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."
What does this prayer mean in today's climate and how can we each be an instrument of peace? If we examine the word "instrument", we see that it means a tool, a gadget or a device. Synonymously, the word "channel" means a passage, a vehicle, a route. The idea of being a vehicle- of travelling and journeying implies that we are messengers carrying something important to share with others.
Saint Francis suggest that whatever goodness we strive to develop, we do so by giving it to others. I'd like to suggest that we practice cultivating these attributes within ourselves first before we share them with others (so we can be full and stable in our own being). For example- if we want love in our lives, then we practice self love first and then we love the shit out of others. If we want peace, we must cultivate it within ourselves first (perhaps through meditation) and then help others to do the same. If we want joy, we do something fun and then invite others along. If we know that singing helps us to overcome dark thoughts and depression, then we sing and create opportunities for others to join in.
We don't need to look too far to find someone who wants what we can give- we just need to take the first step. When we practice acting on our excitement and sharing it with the world, we become examples and instruments of peace. So I ask you, "Is there something you can do right now to be an example and instrument of peace? Is there somewhere for you to shine your light?
I know I am a messenger of peace when the work I do feels effortless. I simply do what I must. I do it with ease and without pride or ego. When I can, I do it for free.
The Sufi poet Rumi inspires us through his insights and written beautifications. He says, "The wound is the place where the light enters you". The light is the message and the messenger- the light exists in me and you. The light is God playing us like the strings of a musical instrument of peace so that ALL can hear the sacred song.