Through the prayer of St. Francis, the middle school youth will come to understand how a strong prayer life is only truly effective if it is reflected in the way they live and the way they treat one another.
St. Francis is known for his sayings, “It is no use in walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching” and “Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” These sayings summarize the life of St. Francis. He lived for others and he believed that his life was a living prayer. He believed that his actions were as much a part of his faith as anything he believed in his head or heart. St. Francis is often associated with the prayer, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,” however, he is not the original author of this prayer. It is attributed to him because it reflects so closely the way he lived his life. St. Francis was a man rooted in prayer, yet he understood that a strong prayer life is only meaningful if it is reflected in the way one lives their life:
Prayer and Christian life are inseparable, for they concern the same love and the same renunciation, proceeding from love; the same filial and loving conformity with the Father’s plan of love; the same transforming union in the Holy Spirit who conforms us more and more to Christ Jesus; the same love for all men, the love with which Jesus has loved us. “Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he [will] give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.” He “prays without ceasing” who unites prayer to works and good works to prayer. Only in this way can we consider as realizable the principle of praying without ceasing (CCC 2745).