Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15
Francis of Assisi took a vow of poverty and formed his own order of monks. The current pope chose to be named after Francis.
He decided to go to Syria to convert the Muslims during the Fifth Crusade. In the middle of a battle, Francis decided to do the simplest thing and go straight to the sultan to make peace. When he and his companion were captured, the real miracle was that they weren’t killed. Instead, soldiers escorted Francis to the sultan who was charmed by Francis and his preaching. He told Francis, “I would convert to your religion which is a beautiful one — but both of us would be murdered.”
Francis is the accredited author of a famous poem.
Lord, make me an instrument of thy 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.
How do we allow the peace of Christ to rule our hearts? The Holy Spirit dwells within us, and we are a part of God’s family. As God has given us peace, we can strive to treat others with dignity and respect.
Jesus commands us to love our enemies and neighbors. It is harder for us to hate someone when we are praying for them. We can also share the gift of hospitality by opening our homes to others. Who would enjoy visiting and eating a meal with us? We can volunteer at missions, nursing homes, orphanages, shelters, and other places where we can help the orphan, the widow, and others who are in need.
Prayer: Lord please make us your instruments to share your love and peace. May we serve as your hands and feet to a world that is too often a cruel, lonely, and violent place. May your spirit rule in our hearts, lives, and minds. Amen.
God bless you,