Francis of Assisi, one of the most famous spiritual leaders and teachers from the middle ages, died on October 3, 1226. Abandoning the wealthy and comfortable lifestyle of his youth, Francis devoted himself to a life of poverty and preaching, eventually founding the Franciscans and the Order of St. Clare. Francis is also famous for saying, “Preach the gospel always, and if necessary, use words.” But he never said this. It must be interesting to be famous for something you didn’t do.
In addition to his extensive preaching/teaching ministry, Francis of Assisi left quite a number of prayers. So, to commemorate his passing, this Sunday’s prayer comes from him. It’s longer than our normal Sunday prayers. But it’s a great reflection on and extension of the Lord’s prayer. Enjoy.
O our most holy Father
Our Creator, Redeemer, Consoler, and Saviour
Who art in heaven
In the angels and in the saints,
Enlightening them to love, because You, Lord, are light
Inflaming them to love, because You, Lord, are love
Dwelling in them and filling them with happiness,
Because You, Lord, are the Supreme Good, the Eternal Good,
From Whom comes all good and without Whom there is no good.
Hallowed be your name
May our knowledge of You become ever clearer
That we may know the breadth of Your blessings,
the length of Your promises,
The height of Your majesty,
the depth of Your judgments
Your kingdom come
So that You may rule in us through Your grace
And enable us to come to Your kingdom
where there is an unclouded vision of You,
A perfect love of You, a blessed companionship with You,
an eternal enjoyment of You.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
That we may love You with our whole heart
…….by always thinking of You,
With our whole soul by always desiring You,
With our whole mind by directing all our intentions to You
……and by seeking Your glory in everything,
And with our whole strength by spending
……all our energies and affections of soul and body
In the service of Your love and of nothing else,
And may we love our neighbors as ourselves
……by drawing them all with our whole strength to Your love,
By rejoicing in the good fortunes of others as well as our own,
And by sympathizing with the misfortunes of others
…..and by giving offense to no one.
Give us this day
in memory and understanding and reverence of the love
which Our Lord Jesus Christ had for us
……and of those things which He said and did and suffered for us.
Our daily bread
Your own Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ
And forgive us our trespasses
Through Your ineffable mercy,
Through the power of the Passion of Your Beloved Son,
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And whatever we do not forgive perfectly,
……do You, Lord, enable us to forgive to the full
So that we may truly love our enemies
……and fervently intercede for them before You,
Returning no one evil for evil and striving to help everyone in You.
And lead us not into temptation
Hidden or obvious, Sudden or persistent
But deliver us from evil
Past, present, and to come.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.
(I don’t normally alter prayers when I post them. But for the sake of making this prayer useful to the widest audience, I removed the following, which was originally the last line in the “forgive us our trespasses” section: “Together with the merits and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all Your chosen ones.”)