"Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."1
According to an article by G.K. Chesterton, "Francis of Assisi was terrified of leprosy. One day, full in the narrow path that he was traveling, he saw, horribly white in the sunshine, a leper! Instinctively his heart shrank back, recoiling from the contamination of that loathsome disease. But then he rallied; and ashamed of himself, ran and cast his arms about the sufferer's neck and kissed him and passed on. A moment later he looked back, only to find that there was no one there, only the empty road in the hot sunlight. All his days thereafter he was sure it was no leper, but Christ Himself disguised as a leper whom he had met."
Perhaps this is why he wrote the beautiful prayer known as the "Prayer of St. Francis," which reads:
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;
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.
Let this beautiful prayer be our suggested prayer for today.
1. Hebrews 13:1-2 (KJV).