Lord, make me an instrument of Thy 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;
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.
As I was typing this out, I could hear the music from the John Rutter version of this text that I learned in church choir back in high school. There are many different and lovely versions of this prayer set to music.
Although this prayer is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, it cannot be definitively traced back to him. Nevertheless, it remains a powerful source of inspiration and encouragement to myself and countless others.
St. Francis' writings can be found along with the works of other remarkable spiritual thinkers in Love Poems from God. It is a collection of poems and prayers from religious writers of several different faiths. Each time I pick it up, I discover something new and always put it down refreshed and inspired. Check it out.