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There are times when I’m just at a loss.

When there’s stuff going on that I can’t even begin to know how to handle, when I think “Surely not…” only to find that surely, yes.  When I feel powerless yet long to do something or when I forget that really, He’s got it.

When I want to react and shake shoulders and yell and scream and stomp my foot.

Yes, those are the times when I’m at a loss.

And being a wordy-type of girl, I am consoled by the art of the written language.

Words, beautifully-arranged on a page to convey wisdom or normalcy or simply just encouragement, are where I turn when I don’t know what else to do.

It’s usually the words of truth found in the Bible. Nothing beats those words.

Yet there are other words that console, too.  When we tsk-tsk others for finding wisdom in places besides the Bible it’s like saying the only paintings of merit are those of biblical scenes.

Just because we like a lovely landscape doesn’t mean we love Jesus any less.

Though not actually written by St. Francis himself, I find the words from his prayer console and guide me when I don’t know what else to do.

They are not scriptures, no. But they are seeped in Jesus.  And they’re deeply-rooted in scripture.

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 their is darkness, light.

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

Grant that I may not seek to be consoled, as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving we receive.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

In the remaining days of January, as I am getting the first month of “compassionvating” under my belt, will you join me in memorizing this prayer?

And will you join me in reciting it when you don’t know what else to do?

You better believe I’ll be saying it several times a day . . .