I wasn’t much interested in the election of the new pope….until I saw his name: Pope Francis.
Francis…as in, Francis of Assisi, born into wealth, chose poverty and simplicity, loved the least of these–both human and creaturely, wrote two of my favorite prayers, which I’ll include below.
For the pope–the pope!–to take the name of Francis? I’m beginning to wonder if there might be some changes in store for the church. One commentator said that St. Francis once heard a call from God to “repair the church.” At first, Francis thought he was being called to refurbish the chapel. Later he figured out that, no, the call was to repair the living church.
Perhaps the new pope has chosen his name well. I will pray for that end.
Okay….here are the two prayers…
Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, 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 we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Canticle to Brother Sun and Sister Moon
Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.
To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and you give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them bright, precious and beautiful.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance.
Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial.
Happy those who endure in peace, for by you, Most High, they will be crowned.
Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks, and serve him with great humility.
Right before hearing the name he chose, I texted my husband that if were chosen pope, I would choose the name Linus (okay – I guess I would have to assume I were male). I had read that it is one of the few names that only one pope has chosen and Linus’ reciting of the Christmas story has always been one of my favorites. But when I heard the choice of Francis, I immediately texted him again and said “great choice of a name”.