Tuesday, April 20, 2010

800 Years Later...

About 800 years ago, the son of a rich Italian merchant came face to face with Jesus... literally. A soldier and partier, this man from Assisi was transformed as the living Jesus appeared to him. To the chagrin of his father, this man forsook the pleasures of this world and chose instead a life of poverty, identifying with the poor in his midst. Jesus told him to rebuild His church, and Francis worked to rebuild a building. But as Jesus transformed Francis, Francis transformed the world around him. Although he was never ordained, he attracted a group of followers who also sought the simple life.

I wonder... how would the world be transformed today, 800 years later, if Jesus' people lived an attitude that reflected the prayer of St. Francis:

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.

I wonder, is it any coincidence that Mother Teresa made such an impact in her world as she also adopted this prayer? How would we transform this world if we allowed this simple attitude to change us?

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(Phil 2:5-11 NIV)