Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Poetry Wednesday, Vol. 61

On Monday we celebrated the feast day of Saint Francis. We have been reading through a book of saints, and while I am not to the point of making elaborate teas and cooking themed dinners in conjunction with our saint of the day, I thought we could celebrate Saint Francis by beginning to learn his prayer. I learned to sing it in Spanish and find it more beautiful sung in that language, so of course, in my reasoning, must my children. What, your children weren't born speaking both your languages? Well, neither were mine. But that never seems to stop me.

I announce to the kids what we are doing and am met with immediate tears and flat out refusal from Elia. Spanish is haaaaard!, she wails. I know it won't be perfect, but I just want you to try, I answer. Noooooooooooo! is her response. And it just goes downhill from there. There are threats, there are tears, there is some screaming. And just when I begin going into the lecture of: I will make your life miserable if you don't learn this "make me a channel of your peace, where there is hatred"........ Oh, wait.

And then I gave myself a long time out in my room.

Then this morning I read this, and prayed for forgiveness anew. These children are great, funny and happy kids.
They have forgiven me for so many of my faults and continue to love me in spite of them. I am hoping they will remember the kindness and the love and the apple picking and the vacations. I am hoping they will remember the apology and the hugs after I become my ugliest self. I am hoping they remember that it is not me in control. Their mother is a poor example of "a channel of peace". It is our Maker who brings us all good things, who grants us hope, joy, forgiveness, and peace.

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,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

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Beth said...

Thank you for remembering and celebrating the life of St. Francis; I forgot. This is one of my favorite prayers and it hangs on my fridge but I feel like it has been a while since I have prayed it. And prayers to that my children will remember me as gentle rather than angry which is what I often fear when yet another full bottle of cinnamon has been dumped on the floor. Henri Nouwen often wrote that if you want to work for peace and justice, you must first find peace in your own heart and fight out the garbage. May peace and blessings be granted to you on this day.

Michelle said...

I always have enjoyed that prayer...

Thanks for the reminder!

Molly Sabourin said...

I am very thankful that children are so resilient - so ready to soften in response to a genuine apology! Just moments ago I experienced, again, that to be mercifully true. This prayers has such a soothing effect on me. Thank you for sharing it!

Beth Hanna said...

So, are your kiddos learning it in Español or inglés?? Either way, it´s a great poem!