I find it funny how some thing I have seen or heard a million times can suddenly take on new meaning in my life. This often happens to me with music, or poetry. These moments of realization occur when I take the time to really listen to a prayer I’m saying, or read something with new eyes. Often times. it takes slowing down, paying attention, being in the moment. Some times I think that after living more, experiencing more, I’m able to see new things in favorite passages or songs.
That is exactly what happened to me with the Prayer of Saint Francis. I know I’d heard the prayer before, but I don’t know that I’d ever heard it sung. But, one day I heard it sung on TV, and it captured my heart. Later I heard a version by Cecilia, and it quickly became my favorite. Her voice is breath taking.
Earlier this month, my car was broken in to. It’s was a rattling experience to know that someone, a stranger, had gone through my things. I knew right away that they took some money, and my Fastrak pass. Maybe some receipts, and possibly one of my registration papers.
I couldn’t think of anything else that was missing until I was driving out to San Damiano to lead a retreat a couple of weeks ago. I like to listen to my “Amazing Grace” CD by Cecilia on the way out to do retreat work so my mind can slow down, so I can start to get in the zone. To feel peaceful. That Saturday morning, I reached into the side pocket of my car for my trusty, favorite CD, and it was not there.
Of all the things that a thief would take, they took a CD called “Amazing Grace,” which also has “The Prayer of Saint Francis.” The moment of realization held many things for me. Disappointment that I didn’t have my CD, and then later I thought about how none of us really “own” anything in our lives. We can certainly be the one who purchased something, who have it for a brief time. But who can really own a song? Can we own a prayer? Aren’t these both things that were meant to be shared as part of a community experience?
I continued thinking of this, and decided I would share my favorite version of “The Prayer of Saint Francis” with you. The pictures are all ones I took in Maui last year, a very peaceful and inspiring place. I hope that you enjoy it, and pass it on.