Make Me a Channel of Your Peace

During this 4th week of advent, our focus is “Peace.” During this time of year, we focus on many scriptures that refer to peace in connection with Christ. In Isaiah 9:6, Christ is prophesied, and scripture says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” On the night of Jesus’ birth, in Luke 2:14, the angels appeared to the shepherds and declared “Glory to God in the highest heaven and peace on earth to people he favors.” Recently, a prayer by St. Francis of Assisi has also been on my mind. It says:
Lord, make me an channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring love. Where there is offence, let me bring pardon. Where there is discord, let me bring union. Where there is error, let me bring truth. Where there is doubt, let me bring faith. Where there is despair, let me bring hope. Where there is darkness, let me bring your light. Where there is sadness, let me bring joy. O Lord, 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 one receives, it is in self-forgetting that one finds, it is in forgiving that one is forgiven, it is in dying that one is awakens to eternal life.
Christ’s entrance into the world meant peace on earth, but what kind? As we look around the world today, we see conflict and unrest. The peace promised through Christ is inner, spiritual peace that only comes from following God and being in His presence. It is unshakable even in the midst of trials. However, receiving this peace is not where it stops. St. Francis’ prayer reminds us we are to play a role in bringing Christ’s peace to the world. So, this is my prayer – that we will both experience and be channels of Christ’s peace on earth.