The United States is going through a divisive time. Once neighbors might suddenly turn into foes in light of surprising win of our new president-elect yesterday, and the emotional responses that have followed. And there is fear of the impact this election has on the world, and how the US will be able to work constructively with other nations.
Rather than be distracted and continue the same polarizing rhetoric as during the debates and campaign, now might be best served as a time to reflect on some of the schisms in our own lives.
Do we carry our own grudges with others over mishaps that happened long ago? Do we fear or dismiss “others” whom we perceive as “different”? Do we seek conflict rather than collaboration in some of our work relationships? Can we reach into our souls and find attributes of our opponents within ourselves and work towards grace?
In the face of our own divisive nature, now may be the time to remember the timeless words attributed to St. Francis and sow something far more powerful.
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;
and 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.