Let me love. Even though I ask to be loved.
Let me understand. Even though I ask to be understood.
Let me console. Even though I ask to be consoled.
Something inside me prays, "Let me give myself away." But then I don't want to let go.
I ask to be a channel of His Peace.
I ask to be an instrument of His Mercy.
But all I find inside of myself is poverty.
And I don't mean the Holy Poverty of St. Francis.
It is the emptiness of someone who loves his own life too much. Who loves himself too much. Who loves his own satisfaction too much. Who loves his own comfort too much. Who loves his own reputation too much. Who loves his own illusions too much. Who loves his own laziness too much. Who loves his own opinion too much. Who loves his own will too much.
I love my own will too much.
I would rather do things my own way.
I would rather rationalize.
I want God's will and my will.
I want to serve two Masters and love them both.
I am a divided man.
I am not St. Francis.
So what is it within me that prays, nonetheless, to be His instrument, His love, His mercy in the lives of others, and especially in the lives of those who have been entrusted to me? In spite of all my foolishness, I call myself a teacher and a mentor and a father, and yet I do not think that I am a complete hypocrite. Why is this? Is it all, then, a delusion?
No! I know something that I must share.
I have been loved, and understood, and consoled.
And the beauty of this fact has wounded my heart. So I throw myself into a confused and troubled and complicated effort to communicate this fact, that I have been loved, that we all have been loved. And somewhere I am convinced that this Love is worthy of all my trust even as I struggle in so many ways to offer myself.
So here it is, Lord, the whole mess that is me.
It is far from a perfect offering.
But You can do the impossible, so make of me what You will.
Give me the will to change.
Change what needs changing in me.
Make me a channel of Your Peace.
Let others hear these words,
these words that express my struggle with You and Your changing of me,
Let them hear these words and see my wounded soul
and wonder at Your Mercy.