A Saint's Litany to Love

This week, we had friar Paul Dressler visit us and talk to us regarding Franciscan Spirituality. It was a wonderful seminar, as Paul is always full of energy and good for a laugh. But more importantly, he is someone who has great insights while willing to tell his story as an example of understanding a spirituality of Francis of Assisi.

While visiting us, he shared a prayer he'd written using primary images of love from the New Testament and from the saints.  We as Franciscans are often accused of living our faith through our hearts (as opposed to Dominicans who might live their faith through their heads/knowledge). Paul solidifies this belief by sharing this prayer entitled: A Saint's Litany to Love

The prayer is set up to be read as a choir, except for the last verse. Please give him credit if you choose to use it in a group setting. Thanks! -V

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury

Love does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopees all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

All of you, be of one mind, sympathetic, loving towards one another, compassionate, humble. Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult; but, on the contrary, a blessing, because to this you were called, that you might inherit a blessing.

Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear. We love because God first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," but hates his brother or sister, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

We approach God not by walking but by loving. Love, and God will draw near; love, and God will dwell within you. The Lord is at hand; have no anxiety. Are you puzzled to know how it is that God will be with you if you love. God is love.

Love, indeed, is the source of all good things; they who walk in love can neither go astray nor be afraid. Love guides them, protects them, and leads them to their journey's end. Love is the stairway to heaven. 

Love is the reason why anything should be done or left undone, changed or left unchanged. The heart is happiest when it beats for others.

Love appeared to me to be the hinge for my vocation. I saw and realized that love sets off the bounds of all vocations. I proclaimed O Jesus my love, at last I have found my calling: my call is to love. Love alone counts.

Love is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to love. Love is a movement and advance of the heart toward the good. We cannot love our neighbor too much.

One who begins to love should be ready to suffer. Life without love has no flavor. Try always to advance in love; enlarge your heart with confidence for the Divine Gifts the Holy Spirit is anxious to pour into it.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours; your are the eyes through which Christ's compassion looks out at the world.

Yours are the feet which He is to go about doing good, and yours are the hands with which is to bless this broken yet beautiful world.

As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Reamin in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
Fr. Paul Dressler is currently the assistant for Post-Novitiate Formation and the Academic Advisor for the Capuchin Franciscans of the St. Augustine Province in Washington D.C. His passion is for youth ministry. His facebook profile can be found here.

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3 Response to A Saint's Litany to Love

November 14, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Loved it.

November 14, 2009 at 9:47 PM

This prayer is beautiful. We have faith sharing every week in our convent and I'd like to use it as our topic and our prayer next time it's my turn to present something. I'll be sure to credit Fr. Paul. Thanks for sharing this.

August 11, 2010 at 7:56 AM

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