Consolation

O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;

When grief comes, life is never the same (the same is true of joy, but no one seems to spend much time dwelling on that profound truth…).

Consolation isn’t saying “everything will be all right,” or “someday, everything will get back to what it was.” It won’t. Staying put while a friend cries, bringing silence instead of platitudes, putting on hold all the usual activities – recognitions of loss, not feeble attempts to avoid it.

God doesn’t erase pain and grief, or cover a gaping wound with a band-aid. Instead, God holds it all in love.

O God, give me the strength and wisdom to do the same.

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. Amen.

This prayer is attributed to Saint Francis. He was born in 1181 or 1182 into a wealthy family in Assisi, Umbria. He grew up in comfort, turned into a rowdy youth, and eventually looked for glory on the battlefield. His life plan altered when he encountered God. In prayer, he heard God tell him to rebuild the church. He devoted himself to a life of prayer, poverty and service. He is the founder of the Order of Friars Minor (OFM), usually called the Franciscans. He died in 1226 after a life of prayer, poverty, and service. His life, work, and words have inspired countless numbers of people.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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