Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of Canada - Franciscains du Canada
Ordo Fratrum Minorum
Most High, Glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me true faith,
and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge, Lord,
that I may carry out
your holy and true command.
This prayer of St. Francis of Assisi often passes through my lips, challenges my thoughts and causes me to reflect on my journey of faith and my life. The simplicity of this prayer and yet the depth that are in these few lines arose in St. Francis. They were one of his first prayers as he fixed his desire on Christ and vowed to live his life in tune with Christ. It is a prayer which many a Friar has prayed in both times of doubt and times of consolation. It is a prayer for each and every one of us who make the claim that we are Christian.
As we celebrate the Feast Day of our Brother Saint Francis of Assisi (October 4) I offer you some reflections based upon this prayer.
Most High, Glorious God
And yet in your might and glory you are so close to us. You draw near to us and enter into our lives. Your might and your glory are rooted in love and the power of love. Your glory is revealed to us each day from the littlest to the grandest. Open our eyes to your glory which is all around us.
Enlighten the darkness of my heart
When our hearts seem dark, when our hearts seem stone cold, when our hearts fill with doubt, remind us that at our core beating in our heart is your light, a flame which never can be extinguished because it is you Most High, Glorious God.
Give me true faith
Our faith is alive and personal and yet it can never be selfish. Our faith calls us to life. Faith is not a barrier rather it is a yearning to tear down walls so as to draw closer to God and build bridges with our neighbours and strangers for we all brothers and sisters.
Give me certain hope
Certain hope is the promise of God with us until the end of time. Certain hope allows us to dream, create, go deeper, know freedom, and remember the promises of Christ and to dwell in them. Certain hope means it is constant and we can raise our eyes and see Him – the one crucified and risen – who remains with us in our dark times as in the light.
Give me perfect charity
Although we will never reach perfect charity this side of heaven we continue to strive to be people of charity. We continue to let love in to each of our days and we desire more to focus on the love of Christ so we may love more like Him. Love, like hope, is Christ.
Give me sense and knowledge, Lord
To love like you, with the sense of compassion and generosity, with the knowledge of awareness and mercy. May our footsteps tread the path carved out for each of us, so we may build the kingdom and continually be aware of the sense and knowledge of God which is needed to live and love well each day.
That I may carry out your holy and true command.
Yes Most High God! Yes every day this is our prayer, for carrying out your holy and true command means we are dwelling in you, open to you, being a vessel formed by you, using every heartbeat and breath to draw closer to you, to reflect you, to embrace the goodness you have instilled in each of us and be our all for you. Your holy and true command is love in our words, actions and thoughts; as our way and life. Carrying your holy and true command is the joy of our being today, now and forever.
Amen – indeed we believe.
St. Francis of Assisi – pray for us.
May the blessings of St. Francis of Assisi fill you with peace and all good.