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A Pope Named “Francis”? Well, it’s About Time (Francis of Assisi is an example for all Christians)
Townhall ^ | 03/21/2013 | Jerry Newcombe

Posted on 03/21/2013 8:58:32 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

One thing amazed me about the new pope being appointed last week. For the first time in Church history---after about 800 years---a pope chose the name Francis, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. I hadn’t realized this was the first time ever. Well, it’s about time.

Francis of Assisi, for whom one of our great cities is named (San Francisco) was a delightful Christian example for Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians alike. If more of us who profess to follow Christ were more like him, we would have a much stronger witness before the watching world.

Francis Bernardone (1182-1226) grew up the son of a wealthy merchant, but upon receiving a divine calling, he forsook a life of comfort and ease, choosing instead a life of poverty and simplicity to serve the Lord. Centuries later we still remember him.

According to author Marc Galli (now the editor of Christianity Today), "’Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace,’ sometimes called ‘The Prayer of Saint Francis,’ was not written by Francis--though it does embody his spirit. It was probably composed at a Catholic congress in Chicago, in 1925” (Christian History Magazine, Issue 42, 1994.)

I find the Prayer of St. Francis prayer quite liberating. After some recent personal conflicts, I make it a conscious goal to pray it, along with the Lord’s Prayer, every day.

Part of that prayer includes: “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.”

I’m reminded of the opening concept of Rick Warren’s mega-bestseller, The Purpose-Driven Life. The key to understanding life is this: it’s not about you, but the Lord.

This is such a winning approach to life, come what may. I especially find helpful the line, “It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned.” As was said by Christ, whom Francis patterned his life after, we should pray, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Forgive others instead of clinging to simmering resentments, which ultimately ruin us.

Human nature, being what it is, is bound to produce conflicts. Francis recognized that. One of the geniuses of the founding fathers of America was recognizing man’s moral limitations, and putting in place safeguards to protect us---from each other.

James Madison, direct student of the Scottish Presbyterian head of Princeton, Dr. John Witherspoon, said, “All men having power ought not to be trusted.” That’s not a cynical view of human nature. It’s a realistic one.

Ben Franklin said that if you had a 100 kings, only one would not tend to be like Pharaoh (the evil one described in the early chapters of Exodus), if given the chance.

Because of the founders’ realistic, and biblical, belief in man’s corrupt nature, Americans have experienced a great deal of freedom. Countries built on a foundation of man’s supposed innate goodness---like the failed Soviet Union---end up with endless bloodshed.

The Bible also says, inasmuch as it is up to you, be at peace with all men. It’s not always up to us. Francis strikes me as one who tried to live up to that ideal.

Francis was a great peace-maker. He attempted, unsuccessfully, to stop the Crusades. But at least he was able to peacefully present Jesus to the Islamic leader---and live to tell it.

Samuel Escobar notes, “What we learn from history is that the inhumanity of the Crusades was not the only way in which Christians related to Islam in those days. Francis of Assisi pioneered a different approach. In 1219 he managed to cross the lines of battle and gain entrance to the sultan of Egypt. There Francis presented to the sultan the message of Christ in its simplicity and beauty” (Christianity Today, 1994).

G. K. Chesterton added this tribute to Francis: "He…saw the image of God multiplied but never monotonous. To him a man was always a man and did not disappear in a dense crowd any more than in a desert….”

Chesterton added, “What gave him his extraordinary personal power was this; that from the pope to the beggar, from the sultan of Syria in his pavilion to the ragged robbers crawling out of the wood, there was never a man who looked into those brown burning eyes without being certain that Francis Bernardone was really interested in him….”

Francis is the one who created manger scenes---live nativity sets. Galli writes how on Christmas Eve, 1223, he "set before our bodily eyes how he [Jesus] lay in a manger."

I watched a movie recently on this great leader. The man who directed the classic movie, Casablanca, made a film called St. Francis of Assisi in 1961. It’s well done---if you can get past the dreadful music during the opening credits (just one man’s opinion).

Francis, the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church---some 1.2 billion people today---has some pretty big shoes to fill---those of St. Francis of Assisi.

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Evangelical Christian; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS: assisi; pope; popefrancis


Lord, make me a channel of thy peace;

that where there is hatred, I may bring love;

that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;

that where there is discord, I may bring harmony;

that where there is error, I may bring truth;

that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;

that where there is despair, I may bring hope;

that where there are shadows, I may bring light;

that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;

to understand, than to be understood;

to love, than to be loved.

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.

It is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.




Seigneur, faites de moi un instrument de votre paix.

Là où il y a de la haine, que je mette l'amour.

Là où il y a l'offense, que je mette le pardon.

Là où il y a la discorde, que je mette l'union.

Là où il y a l'erreur, que je mette la vérité.

Là où il y a le doute, que je mette la foi.

Là où il y a le désespoir, que je mette l'espérance.

Là où il y a les ténèbres, que je mette votre lumière.

Là où il y a la tristesse, que je mette la joie.

Ô Maître, que je ne cherche pas tant à être consolé qu'à consoler,

à être compris qu'à comprendre,

à être aimé qu'à aimer,

car c'est en donnant qu'on reçoit,

c'est en s'oubliant qu'on trouve, c'est en pardonnant qu'on est pardonné,

c'est en mourant qu'on ressuscite à l'éternelle vie.


As delivered by Mother Theresa when she addressed the United Nations in 1985:

Lord, Make us worthy Lord to serve our fellow men throughout the world,

who live and die in poverty and hunger.

Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread and by our understanding love give peace and joy.

Lord, make me a channel of thy peace.

That where there is hatred I may bring love,

That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness,

That where there is discord, I may bring harmony,

That where there is error I may bring truth,

That where there is doubt I may bring faith,

That where there is despair I may bring hope,

That where there are shadows I may bring light,

That where there is sadness I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted,

To understand than to be understood,

To love than to be loved.

For it is by forgetting self that one finds.

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven,

it is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.


1 posted on 03/21/2013 8:58:32 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I learned “Lord, make me an instrument of they peace”...and I’m 70 and a life long Catholic.

2 posted on 03/21/2013 9:02:17 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: SeekAndFind

“don’t call me Francis” Stripes.

3 posted on 03/21/2013 9:03:54 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Vaquero

Lighteneth upeth, Francis.

4 posted on 03/21/2013 9:07:15 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Sacajaweau

The French version uses the word : un instrument de votre paix.

Some translate it “instrument” some translate it “channel”

Why French and not Latin or Italian? It has something to do with how its origin.


The first appearance of the Peace Prayer occurred in France in 1912 in a small spiritual magazine called La Clochette (The Little Bell). It was published in Paris by a Catholic association known as La Ligue de la Sainte-Messe (The Holy Mass League), founded in 1901 by a French priest, Father Esther Bouquerel (1855-1923). The prayer bore the title of ‘Belle prière à faire pendant la messe’ (A Beautiful Prayer to Say During the Mass), and was published anonymously. The author could possibly have been Father Bouquerel himself, but the identity of the author remains a mystery.

The prayer was sent in French to Pope Benedict XV in 1915 by the French Marquis Stanislas de La Rochethulon. This was soon followed by its 1916 appearance, in Italian, in L’Osservatore Romano [the Vatican’s daily newspaper].

Around 1920, the prayer was printed by a French Franciscan priest on the back of an image of St. Francis with the title ‘Prière pour la paix’ (Prayer for Peace) but without being attributed to the saint. Between the two world wars, the prayer circulated in Europe and was translated into English. Its has been attributed the first time to saint Francis in 1927 by a French Protestant Movement, Les Chevaliers du Prince de la Paix (The Knights of the Prince of Peace), founded by Étienne Bach (1892-1986).

The first translation in English that we know of appeared in 1936 in Living Courageously, a book by Kirby Page (1890-1957), a Disciple of Christ minister, pacifist, social evangelist, writer and editor of The World Tomorrow (New York City). Page clearly attributed the text to St. Francis of Assisi. During World War II and immediately after, this prayer for peace began circulating widely as the Prayer of St. Francis, specially through Francis cardinal Spellman’s books, and over the years has gained a worldwide popularity with people of all faiths.

5 posted on 03/21/2013 9:09:55 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: Larry Lucido
Lighteneth upeth, Francis.

Darn, I was going to post IBTFLUF!

6 posted on 03/21/2013 9:19:22 AM PDT by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed &water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: Vaquero
“don’t call me Francis” Stripes.

But you can call me Pope Psycho.

7 posted on 03/21/2013 9:20:24 AM PDT by archy
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To: JimRed

And I'm very late - but with a graphic.

8 posted on 03/21/2013 9:45:17 AM PDT by Pollster1
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To: SeekAndFind
You've omitted the third line of the English version:

Lord, make me a channel of thy peace;

that where there is hatred, I may bring love;

that where there is offence, I may bring pardon;

that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;

that where there is discord, I may bring harmony;


9 posted on 03/21/2013 11:20:26 AM PDT by alexander_busek (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)
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