What would Patti Smith do?

After posting that I was unsure what to teach my kids regarding God and prayer, I was reminded how, at San Francisco’s amazing Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival last Fall, Patti Smith, in the middle of rocking out (I think to “Gloria”) pulled a crumpled paper from her coat and recited the prayer of St. Francis. “San Francisco!” she said to us, all watching her, wide-eyed and smiling, standing there in the fog and sun under all those Eucalyptus trees. “Be happy!” Patti said. “Work hard! Love one another!”

Here’s Patti’s prayer. I may try reading it to my kids tonight; they are San Franciscans, after all.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring 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.
Grant that I may not 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.

One thought on “What would Patti Smith do?

  1. The late meditation teacher and spiritual sage Eknath Easwaran taught an “eight-pointed” spiritual path whose cornerstone was “passage meditation” that consists of sitting still, closing one’s eyes, and silently reciting at a slow pace a spiritual passage of some sort over and over once or twice a day for thirty minutes at a time. And it may interest you to know that the passage he used and recommended that beginners to his path use was the St. Francis prayer. http://www.easwaran.org/the-prayer-of-st-francis.html

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