Happiness lessons from…Saint Francis of Assisi

Happiness lessons from…Saint Francis of Assisi

by Dr. Happy (on Twitter – HERE)

As regular readers of my writings would know I'm not, in the traditional sense of the word, a religious person. At the same time, however, I've always been a seeker of wisdom and spirituality and accordingly, have enjoyed reading and studying and learning from religious texts of all varieties. Over time I've come to learn that I probably am "religious" but that I don't necessarily feel like I want to restrict myself to only one school of thought. So, in my own way, I enjoy collecting what works for me from various sources including tradional Western forms such as Judaism and Christianity, as well as more Eastern forms such as Buddhims, Sufism, Taoism and more…

…recently, my spiritual light was sparked by a quote I'd only previously heard a small part of. In hindsight this seems extremely remiss of me, but I don't think I'm on my own in having heard the saying that "it is in giving we receive" yet never known the full context from where this came. Now that I have, I can't help but think it's a wonderful philosophy for happiness and for living a good life which is why I'm sharing it with you here today…

The Prayer of Saint Fancis

Lord, make me an instrument of your 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;

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.

Regardless of religious orientation, imagine a world in which hatred was challenged with love; injuries were pardoned and sadness was met with joy! Just imagine what it would be like if we all sought to understand and console and love others, rather than somewhat selfishly, as we've all done, seeking these things ourselves!

There is, I believe, much to be learned from ALL the great religions and schools of spiritual and philosophical thought; in this instance, I'm very grateful to the Christian Saint Francis and hope you find something of value in this "prayer" as I have.