Today’s Word: ‘Peace’ as in… A Prayer for Peace as we welcome the new year by Saint Francis De Sales.
There are moments when we hear ancient words spoken in a way that cause us to pause or perhaps even to stop, to really listen, to fully hear words that both comfort us because of what has been and inspire us for what can and will be. Saint Francis de Sales’s Prayer For Peace does just that.
Francis was born in France in August of 1567. His entire childhood was filled with the rigors of study. Historians tells us that he was a successful student at Paris, France and Padua, Italy, eventually becoming a lawyer. But while his mother loved him and his father had wonderful plan for his life, Francis had other ideas. His vocation was to become a priest, but he didn’t have the courage to tell his father until he was 26 years old. Francis was well regarded for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his homeland because of the Protestant Reformation. He is remembered today for his writings on spiritual direction and spiritual formation.
Saint Francis de Sales’ Prayer for Peace is powerful for us as we enter a new year. While we’re more than content to let the old year pass, we also have no illusions about the challenges that are still before us. But these words – especially spoken by a child remind us that peace is at hand:
Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life;
rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise,
God, whose very own you are,
will lead you safely through all things;
and when you cannot stand it,
God will carry you in His arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;
the same understanding Father who cares for
you today will take care of you then and every day.
He will either shield you from suffering
or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace,
and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.