I recently purchased a statue of Saint Francis and put him in the humming bird garden, just off a newly constructed patio. The statue continues to transform the entire area. Now when I look at the patio and garden, it feels protected and peaceful. The way the saint looks lovingly downward at the bird in his hand brings solace to the mind who beholds this scene.
Then I went to a nearby church yard and in one of the gardens there was a very old statue of the saint. The look in the downward gaze of both statues can be described as pure humility.
I was dealing with a child abuse case at the time and the child in question was told by the courts that she had to go back and live with the accused who reportedly sodomized her for the first five years of her life.
I kept praying for Divine Intervention in this situation and for the maturity to avoid making judgements and harsh statements that put down the child’s alleged abusers.
Remaining nonjudgemental is an exercise in humility. Wasting time and energy visualizing a horrible outcome and railing against the bureaucracy that make these decisions–is a great example of arrogance, by forgetting that the higher powers are working for the greatest good of all concerned.
And thinking further of the simplicity of the Saint Francis figure, who attracted all the animals to his side, I am reminded of the dogs who go with me where ever I move or walk.
The beauty of the animals reminds me to be a channel for Universal Love and Peace.
This is the real lesson in humility.
We are not saints-far from it!! But the thoughts of the following prayer can be a mantra, and a reminder-to treat each person we care for with the highest love and respect.
The Saint Francis Prayer
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; 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 giving that we receive; It is pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
–Saint Francis of Assisi
Type this prayer–laminate it–and place it in the pocket closest to your heart.