Tough Words From A Tough Teacher

The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your 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;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Not a day goes by where life doesn’t teach me a lesson. Most days I’m too busy to listen to what life is trying to teach me. There are times when I have no choice but to listen. Nine months ago life knocked me down. I lay flat on my back. Life towered over me and said, “You’re going to listen to me. You’ve no choice. Whether you take to heart the lesson I’m going to give you is up to you. But you will listen to what I have to say.” Tough words from a tough teacher.

It’s strange how life’s challenges always come down to a choice. I have the freedom to choose. I can choose to hear life’s lesson, learn from it, and grow. Or, I can hear it, refuse to embrace it, and shrivel. It’s always my choice. The ultimate freedom.

Losing someone I deeply loved knocked me flat on my back. I chose not to stay down, but to get up and learn the lessons life is trying to teach this reluctant learner.  The words of Saint Francis of Assisi sum up many of life’s lessons for me. It’s my job to live them more fully day by day. Life will continue to teach me each day until my days are over and by that time I hope to have learned and applied all I need to go on to the next part of my journey.

Author: Ray Calabrese

I am an optimistic, can do, and never quit guy. The spirit of hope indelibly marks my DNA. My research at The Ohio State University helped people discover the best in themselves and change their personal lives, public organizations, and whole communities. I bring the same spirit and enthusiasm to my blog to help those who grieve who find themselves suddenly alone, navigate their grieving. Join my more than 24,300Twitter (@alwaysgoodstuff). I promise my tweets are always good stuff. Please feel free to email me at

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