Friday, August 29, 2014

Carrying Peace: A Prayer for the School Year

The school year is about to start. Like many teachers, I sit today perched almost at the top of the first hill of a roller coaster, my stomach doing somersaults, my brain dizzy with anticipation and nerves. It's an amazing roller coaster, never the same ride twice, and I always come back for more. Still, it continues to feel like a roller coaster. This year, I want to try to change that in some small way. I want to carry peace with me throughout the day, throughout the year. I want to be able to find peace at a moment's notice when I need it most. I want to be ready to stop and breathe in the moment, to step back and see with clarity, and make decisions from a place of wisdom and grounded-ness. I want to see, truly see, the small beings whose day is entrusted to my care.

So, here's my teacher's prayer for the school year, a musical variant of which I learned a lifetime ago and have cherished always:

The Prayer of Saint Francis 
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; 
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; 
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

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