Sunday, September 14, 2003

Traditional Literature and St. Francis

Literature is not only found in books. Literature comes in the forms of songs, poems, oral traditions, and also prayer. In fact, prayer is my favorite form of literature. Sometimes prayer takes the forms of other literatures, such as poems, songs, or books, but it always hold an extra power. When I pray, I find love, hope, and God. Non-prayer literature can show us these things, but prayer makes it a reality. For this reason, I am going to dedicate today's post to this wonderful literature.

My favorite prayer started as a poem, but I learned it in the form of a song. It is called "The Prayer of St. Francis." This prayer is special to me because it contains everything in it that makes life worth living. Almost all literary, including the Harry Potter books, tries to express the ideas related in the amazing prayer. Harry brings hope to a world that was attacked by evil. His friends are always there to bring each other up. The people in the books may not be perfect, but they do try to do what is right. Harry is a wonderful example of self-forgetfulness. *

I love this prayer. It is about man and what we could do if only we could look beyond ourselves.

The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace;
Where there is hate that I may bring love,
Where there is offence that I may bring pardon,
Where there is discord that I may bring union,
Where there is error that I may bring truth,
Where there is doubt that I may bring faith,
Where there is despair that I may bring hope,
Where there is darkness that I may bring light,
Where there is sadness that I may bring joy.

O Master, make me not so much to be consoled as to console;
not so much to be loved as to love;
not so much to be understood as to understand;
for it is in giving that one receives;
it is in self-forgetfulness that one finds;
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned;
it is in dying that one finds eternal life."

-St. Francis of Assisi.

*I think that the magic Rowling writes about in her books is not the same as the Witchcraft used in today's world. It is a fantasy book, that I think takes on the form of an allegory for Christianity. Rowling may not realize it, but God shows in her works. For example, the way Rowling expresses the phoenix reminds me of the Holy Spirit (born from fire, song of hope, tears of healing, and leaps into the battle to save).