|"It is in dying that we are born to eternal life"|
She then explained that in the twelve step program of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), St. Francis' "Peace Prayer" is offered as a prayer to those who are recovering. His prayer is used in the context of "self-searching" on the way to being a better person. His prayer is in the "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" book of AA. The woman was a recovering alcoholic.
Here's an excerpt from the book:
First let’s look at a really good prayer. We won’t have far to seek; the great men and women of all religions have left us a wonderful supply. Here let us consider one that is a classic.
Its author was a man who for several hundred years now as been rated as a saint. We won’t be biased or scared off by that fact, because although he was not an alcoholic he id, like us, go through the emotional wringer. And as he came out the other side of that painful experience, this prayer was his expression of what he could then see, feel, and wish to become:
“Lord, make me a channel of thy 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.”
As beginners in meditation, we might now reread this prayer several times very slowly, savoring every word and trying to take in the deep meaning of each phrase and idea.
Click here for the direct reference.
The woman concluded her praise of the saint with this, and I paraphrase,"St. Francis was an irascible, ill-tempered man when he could be and he once wrote that, 'When I am at my worst, when I am at odds with everyone and everything, it is then I pause and give God thanks because he has shown me what I would be without his grace'. She then peaceably with a smile said, "He understands us alcoholics."