St. Francis Novena – Day 3
Today let us pray for all those suffering from broken relationships and family struggles.
It is not unusual to find ourselves in situations where someone has said or done something unkind or seemingly unfair to us. We take offense. We feel angry. Maybe we feel insulted, judged, presumed upon, or mistreated. Sometimes the hurt is intentional (but often not), but the feelings still come. Often the first response is to retaliate, or at least to return some measure of what was given to us. It is almost automatic. I have been there, and I imagine you have been as well.
In those situations, I try to remember what my mom taught me about “counting to 10” and “walking in another’s shoes for a bit,” or at least to take a few moments to breathe and calm down. I try to remember the Prayer of St. Francis that I have often prayed, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,” and I tell St. Francis and the Lord that I need that grace right now! I try to remember how Jesus was before his accusers.
I often think that Jesus and Francis had big hearts—hearts that had the power to transform. They were able to receive what might be dark and ugly, take it into their heart, and there it was transformed—by God’s grace—so that what they gave back brought light and beauty, so different from what they received. I often pray, “Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto yours.” The world is filled with enough pain and sorrow; I hope not to contribute more. I don’t often perfectly succeed, but every little bit of peaceful presence helps.
Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM
(Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM, is the pastor of the Church of the Transfiguration in Southfield, Michigan.)
Pray the Novena to St. Francis of Assisi
Read by Fr. Murray Bodo, OFM
St. Francis knew of family strife first hand. You can post your prayer intentions to him on our Prayer page.
The Novena to St. Francis of Assisi
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Poor and humble St. Francis, through your kind intercession we seek to love God above all things. We seek the faith, hope, and love that moved you to joyfully renounce honors and riches and to radically follow our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pray for us that we come to see the privilege of suffering with and for the poor after the example of Jesus. Help us to be always grateful for all the blessings we have received and give us the strength to overcome our most pressing concerns.
(Include your personal intentions now.)
Glorious St. Francis, you acted as a peacemaker even in the face of extreme physical danger. Through your prayers, may we also be graced with the desire to find peaceful resolutions to the problems that plague us, even in the most trying of times. As an offering to our Loving God, I resolve to forgive all the wrongs I have suffered from others.
St. Francis, help us to continue praying for the grace to truly repent and change our hearts by actively seeking reconciliation with God and all those we have offended or hurt in any way. May the blessings we receive through your intercession deepen our faith, and inspire us to store up treasures in heaven, where we hope to spend eternity with our loving God.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.
St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
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Videos and articles on St. Francis at Franciscan Media.
We follow Jesus in the footsteps of St. Francis, learn more at Franciscan.org