October 4, 2013

Francis was born into a wealthy family. It is apparent also that he had that quality which many of us in recovery know about, namely, extremism. After spending the first part of his life in frivolous enjoyments he experienced war, captivity and sickness which sent his life on a new direction. Francis took to emptying his father’s warehouse and giving everything to the poor. Then he exchanged his fine clothing for poor clothing and undertook a new life. It was the course that set all of life into a new perspective.

We, too, have set our course on a new way of life. It has its challenges to be sure but it also gives us new freedom to act in a way we never envisioned. What are some of the “newness” items we find in our life today? Maybe an easier access to God? Maybe fewer difficulties with our relationships with family and friends? Perhaps new motivation to go out of our self to volunteer time and money to help the poor? Something as easy, and yet put off, as a long overdue telephone call to a person we have neglected. Each of us can come up with a list of things to do. Easy does it!

Today would be a good day to ponder and pray slowly that prayer of St. Francis of Assisi that Doctor Bob and Bill W loved so well. Better yet, let us take the words of this prayer and put them into practice today.

Lord, make me a channel of your 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 to 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.

These thoughts offered by Brother Richard Hittle, S.J., a grateful 1980 graduate of Guest House and an employee since 2004.