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Lord, Make us Servants of Your Peace

February 25, 2015 you are Ubi Caritas

Lord, make us servants of your peace!!

Lauren Rahe CMPE, CCHW

Community Health Education Director

I find that January and February tend to be the hardest times for those of us in outreach to be inspired. November and December tend to be our busiest months because the spirit of giving is high, and people seek to help those in need and community outreach organizations. Come January though, the “helping others” mood is on burnout it seems. It is common for those in social outreach to feel drained and wonder if what they are doing is truly making a difference in the world. A few Sundays back we sang Hymn 593, Lord Make us Servants of Your Peace. I have sung this hymn in church multiple times, yet for some reason the words jumped out at me on this occasion. This hymn was written by James Quinn and is based on a prayer by Francis of Assisi, more commonly referred to as the Prayer of St. Francis. That prayer reads as follows:

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;
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. Amen.

As I read the above prayer I was reminded of the patient that shows up with a new diagnosis of diabetes and has doubt and despair that they will not be able to make the changes needed for their health. I know that through our Diabetic Self-Management classes that patient is given faith to replace the doubt, and hope for the despair they feel. I know that the pregnant mother who feels darkness and sadness because she does not have the resources to know about having a healthy pregnancy, and how to care for a newborn, is given light and joy through our¬†Becoming a Mom¬†prenatal classes. I know that each client who feels hatred and injury because they cannot afford access to health care, is made to feel consoled and understood as we help them navigate the process of finding the health or medical care they so rightly deserve. I know that every person no matter their need who walks through the doors of Ubi Caritas is shown love and mercy as we seek to help them whatever their needs may be. From now on, each time I start to feel like my outreach efforts aren’t making a difference, I will read this prayer and let it renew and inspire my faith in giving. For it is true that in the giving to others, that we receive. To all of our volunteers and supporters who continue to support and give to our ministry, thank you for helping us make a difference and be instruments of God’s peace in the lives of those we continuously serve!