When I was about 12, I found a nine-segment brochure on fully living. Perhaps because the words were so profoundly simple, I began to read them every day; and now, at age 65, some 53 years later, I can say that those clear words HAVE made a difference in who I am. For that reason, I want to share this pamphlet with you and Saint Francis of Assisi's prayer that came with the brochure.
It was Saint Francis, I believe, who had some part in my coming into the Catholic Church; because, after all, if you voice his words every day for over four decades, something has to sink in. Later, I found this same passage produced by Al-Anon, so obviously, it has helped many people. I also showed it to a counselor once who said when she hit the eighth part of Just for Today, or the part that states, "Just for Today I will have a quiet half-hour all by myself, and relax...", “If everyone would even apply these thoughts to their day, I would be out of business. No one would need my help any longer.”
So even though we want to make great strides with our 2014 goals, take heart, and apply “Just for Today---TODAY!” instead of “Just for the Whole Year.” Try reading this each day and watch what happens; then let me know. It won’t cost you a red nickel, but your rewards will be great!
JUST FOR TODAY
Just for today, I will try to live through this day only and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
Just for today, I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Just for today, I will adjust myself to what is and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my “luck” as it comes and fit myself to it.
Just for today, I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.
Just for today, I will exercise my soul in three ways: (1) I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count. (2) I will do at least two things I don’t want to do—just for exercise. (3) I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
Just for today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice low, be courteous, criticize not one bit. I won’t find fault with anything, not try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.
Just for today, I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.
Just for today, I will have a quiet half-hour all by myself and relax. During this half-hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective on my life.
Just for today, I will be unafraid. I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give me.
A Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
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, 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 pardoning that we are pardoned. And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. AMEN
Martha Wild King, M. Ed., Author
The Frugal Catholic: Learn to live on less to give and save more.