Monday, October 8, 2012

Saint Francis Prayer-Koan

It always amazes me when things all come together.  In this particular case I didn’t realize what these “things” were or what was to come together; but they did so at our Sunday Moment of Silence Meeting where we meditate for a spell then talk about the Eleventh Step.

What stuck with me the most was when Sheila, the speaker, said, “We become the prayer.”

I had been taking two men through the Steps, both on Step 11, just two days prior to this meeting.  We read the St. Francis Prayer on page 99 of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions:

Lord, make me a channel of they peace – that where there is hatred, I may bring love – that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness –that where there is discord, I may bring harmony – that where there is error, I may bring truth – that where there is doubt, I may bring faith – that where there is despair, I may bring hope – that where there are shadows, I may bring light – that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.  Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted – to understand, than to be understood – to love, than be loved.  For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.  It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.  It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. Amen

In my 12 and 12 is a notation, a suggestion, in red pen.  I do not know where or from whom I heard this, but I’m glad I did.  Where it reads “I may bring harmony”, instead of saying “bring”, substitute the word “be”.  May I be harmony.  Instead of “I may bring hope” say “May I be hope”.  Make this change throughout the prayer.

May I be love
May I be the spirit of forgiveness
May I be harmony
May I be truth
May I be faith
May I be hope
May I be light
May I be joy

Remember the koan “Who is hearing?” 

Who is comforting?
Who is understanding?
Who is loving?

This is what Sheila meant when she said, “We become the prayer.”  Which also means, “We become the koan.”  The Saint Francis Prayer is both prayer and koan.

Bill K.

1 comment:

  1. This prayer has been an instrumental part of my sobriety. Thank you for this! Before I got sober, my life was ruled by selfishness, resentment and fear. Living life in sobriety through working a program is exemplified through this prayer. Now, it's all about what I pack into the stream of life instead of what I am getting from it. I have three years sober and I got help from a place called New Life House. If you or a loved one is suffering they may be able to help. Check out their website at New Life House