A Father’s Day Meditation – The Prayer of St. Francis

I originally posted this back in February of 2010 right around my dad’s birthday.  This morning while I think about what father’s day means to me and the life I learned to live in the shadow of a greatly peaceful man I can think of no better way to honor both my earthly and heavenly father that to repost this childhood memory.  

You see my father would often break into song at the strangest times, in the midst of some of the most mundane and menial tasks of daily living.  It’s a tradition I have continued.  Personally I tend to sing while washing dishes or mowing the lawn. 

One day when I was about 10 or 11 years old, my dad and I were slopping out the pig pen.  I, as a begrudging child did so because I was told to, but on this particular day my dad managed to make it an act of worship!  As I picked up a wheel barrel full of pig shit, grumbling too myself but how heavy and disgusting it was, I distinctly remember hearing my father’s soft Irish tenor voice lilting through the barn.   

What I heard changed my attitude in an instant and speaks volumes to the kind of life my family has lived for generations.  

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;
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.

St. Francis of Assisi

Happy father’s day to the man who made shovelling shit and act of worship.  My the peace the surpasses all understanding follow you and all who read this all the days of your life.

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