Make me a channel of your peace
“Holding my hand, he took me towards the bright light, together with a big white dove bird.” Tears rolled down my cheeks and deep emotion filled my heart, the moment I entered the St Francis church in Assisi, and thats when I saw the above vision, and I knew I had arrived home.
Francis came in my life through Fr Henry, in the year 2000 in San Francisco. “It was after watching the film on St Francis, That I decided to become a priest”, he told me. This was imprinted in my mind and every time he mentioned about him, I felt a deep connection and stirring in my heart. As I left US to come back to India, he gave me statue of Francis as a gift, and I didn’t realize the importance of it in my life till I saw it again after 13 years and I longed to visit Assisi. This dream came true, when after walking the path of Santiago in Spain this summer, I visited Italy. It wasn’t a coincidence that Fr Henry too was visiting Italy at the same time and together we had the opportunity to visit Assisi. I felt immensely grateful for Fr Henry’s affectionate presence in my life and was in awe of the arrangement in life.
The statue of Francis sitting on a horse, outside the church got my attention, It read –
“Lord what do you want me to do?”, “Go back to your city and you will be told what you must do”. At the break of day, Francis, with his reformed inner self, desired only to conform to the will of the god.
I felt this message spoke directly to me, as for last couple of months I have been praying to god to give me direction, so that I could dedicate my life to the work he wants me to do. I feel this grace happens when our heart is opened and all we can do is to wait and practice small acts of love till we realize our life’s work and gift.
As I sat in the beautiful small chapel of St Francis, where his last remains are kept, a profound feeling of love and stillness entered my heart and a clear voice told me “Give, give, give, never hold back. Give whatever you can” and then the voice continued“When you will meet your fellow pilgrims, you will both recognise each other through your eyes. There will be seven of you and when you will all meet, sit around a fire and you will know what to do. You don’t have to search for them; you will all find each other.” I asked for a sign to tell myself that what I heard was not just from my mind, and I looked at the prayer beads which Fr. Henry had gifted me; it had seven crosses. The more I believe the more it seems real.
“Make me a channel of your peace”, with this prayer of Francis in my heart, I left Assisi, promising myself to keep the fire burning and deeply listening to the calling of my heart.