A number of years ago a Catholic friend of mine gave me a beautiful bookmark with a prayer by Francis of Assisi. Although I am not Catholic, I appreciate the spirit in which the bookmark was given, and the more I read about this medieval man the more I respect and admire his devotion and selflessness. I have also greatly benefitted from the words of his prayer, and hope you will too:
“Most High, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart. And give me, Lord, a correct faith, a certain hope, a perfect charity, sense and knowledge, so that I may carry out your holy and true command.” Good prayer isn’t it? Brief, to the point, and full of good theology.
He addresses God appropriately, “most High glorious God.” God should be the focus of our devotion, not ourselves. “Enlighten…” Francis knows that the human heart is an idol factory, and full of darkness. We need the cleansing of God. “Give me…a correct faith (it’s important to know “true truth”), a certain hope (it’s important to be anchored in the “blessed assurance” that only God gives), a perfect charity (this world is very unloving…let’s be different), sense and knowledge (God gives us good common sense—let’s put it to good use), so that I may carry out (every day I am a missionary with tough assignments in this unfriendly world) your holy and true command (what God says is true and must be followed, no matter what anyone else thinks).
Good words Francis! Thank you!